Home > Writing > On writing: Stephen King interview

On writing: Stephen King interview

Awhile back, my oldest son sent me a link to a recent interview of Stephen King, because he knows that for many years he has been one of my favorite authors. Click on the following link to read the article for yourself: Stephen King interview

In particular, two quotes by King stood out to me, as they highlight the fundamental nature of someone like him, an author of so many books that it almost makes one’s head spin. A man who, despite “retiring” from writing, still releases one to two novels a year.

“They pay me absurd amounts of money,” he observes, “For something that I would do for free.”

“King writes every day. If he doesn’t write he’s not happy. If he writes, the world is a good place. So he writes. It’s that simple. “I sit down maybe at quarter past eight in the morning and I work until quarter to twelve and for that period of time, everything is real. And then it just clicks off. I think I probably write about 1200 to 1500 words. It’s six pages. I want to get six pages into hardcopy.”

I believe I have a passion for writing, but after reading these quotes, I asked myself, do I really have the kind of passion that someone like Stephen King possesses? The kind that drives you to write every day, the kind the sets writing goals and sticks to them, the kind that pushes you forward to completion even when you feel like doing anything but sitting at a keyboard?

While at times I would say I do, oftentimes I don’t. Why is that? I love to write, and I think I’m pretty good at crafting a good story or novel. So what is it that distracts from what I really want to do, that pulls my focus away from writing? At this point in my journey through both life and writing, I must admit that I’m not sure. I have a thought or two, but I’ll leave that for another day. For now, I just wanted to pass along a couple of tidbits on the writing life of an author who, whether you like him or not, clearly has that burning fire to create, and does so consistently.

Perhaps I should tape these quotes onto my monitor in big, bold letters, so that the next time I’m sitting at my keyboard and my mind begins to wander, or my fingers start leading me down the path of mindless surfing on the internet, they can remind me of what it takes to succeed. And by succeed, I don’t mean in a financial sense. To me, I define success in writing as: always increasing my knowledge of the craft, consistently writing every day, and ultimately, finishing all the stories in my head that just won’t go away. If, after that, a few people enjoy reading them, so much the better.

–dp

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