When I first created this topic, I had no way of knowing what day it was actually landing on or that it would seque so well into my current experiences. Yesterday, I posted an off-topic blog about my experience with the Flash Fiction Challenge for 2015, and I mentioned a little thing about Stephen King. Today I can write more about that! Because the current book I am reading is actually…
I’m just over halfway throug the book, but I have found it a very interesting read thus far. Love him or hate him, you have to admit this man is a prolific writer and knows what he is doing. The book is broken up into two parts: autobiography and craft advice. Currently I’m into the craft advice, but I have fully completed the autobiography now.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the insight into this author’s world. There are parts in the book that I just go, “Yes! That’s exactly what it’s like!”
He explains that he has no idea where the ideas come from; they just come to him randomly. When he was working at a high school, cleaning the girls’ toilets, he suddenly thought of Carrie showering and being pelted with feminine products. It was as simple as that. From there, he wrote his first novel and found the fame he rightfully deserved.
As writers, people are always asking us where we get our ideas, but if people realised how mundane that part is, they probably wouldn’t bother to ask.
But the thing I took away from the book more than any other thus far is how Stephen King dealt with rejection. He submitted his stories to publications, and when he received a rejection letter, he would often note that feedback was left on this stock-standard “Your piece has not been accepted for publication” letters. So at first, he put a nail in his wall and stuck the feedback there for him to see it. After multiple rejection letters, the nail didn’t cut it anymore, so he put a railroad spike in the wall and just kept going.
The mental fortitude to do this is amazing. He was young when this was happening, and it’s almost like he fed on rejection just as much as acceptance. He used the opportunity to take on the feedback and use it to become a stronger writer.
As writers, rejection is pretty much a certainty. It’s how we deal with it that that defines if we are an aspiring writer or a published author.
I would certainly suggest reading the book if you haven’t before. There are even more insights and stories that he has told in the book, and all of it is quite fascinating. It does include everything from a young age to his marriage (to his one and only wife) to his substance abuse and beyond. But he doesn’t overly preach about his ability either.