On Finishing Books


I blame it on the bookstore / coffee shop right by my house. I can’t NOT go in. Even if I have 10 unread books on my bookshelf, more “starts” than I have bookmarks for. Sometimes I just get in the mood for a certain genre, or I’ll re-read an old favorite, while 3-4 of my other books just inch along.

I also blame technology. Because it’s too easy to go on my phone and distract myself rather than pick up a good book.

BUT. I did finish one recently. A really good one. After discovering the super addictive sci-fi show, Under the Dome, I’ve been on a mega Stephen King kick lately. Growing up we were definitely a Stephen King household. My mom showed me It when I was like 5. I knew all the words to Pet Sematery. For Christmas I asked my mom for a pure silver necklace, you know, just in case I ever met the werewolf in Silver Bullet. And of course, my ultimate of ultimate favs, The Shining. Just so genius.

Anyway. I got this book on a trip to Maine last summer. I started it and put it down for whatever reason. Now that I’ve been into Under the Dome (just started Season 3 and never want it to end) I guess I was curious about his process. How does he write? Anyone can be imaginative and have great ideas, but how do you actually get them out? I listened to a couple of his podcast interviews (here and here) which only got me more excited.

So I decided to pick it up again. I started reading on the subway instead of my usual Spotify and caught 20 mins here and there on my lunch break. Consequently, upon reading a book about writing, I’ve been doing a lot more writing. I’ve got a good story brewing and trying to get it out as fast as I can. It may be complete shit but dammit, I need to finish this thing. Always the struggle.

I think the best points from the book are this: If you want to be a good writer, read more. Read a TON more. The style will come, but keep reading. The other point he made that stuck with me was this: “This is about engine maintenance, not joyriding.” It’s never as easy as sitting down and creating a world and having all the right words flow out. It’s a process, one in which you can train yourself to do.

Anyway, just checking in. If you have the slightest interest in writing I would definitely check out this book. Plus, how awesomely vintage is the cover? His old office with that old comp and the Corgi running underneath?

I’m in good spirits lately so hope everyone else is too.

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