Most writer’s have heard Stephen King’s famous writing advice.
I’ve read Stephen King’s book On Writing. It’s an interest read, though I confess, I haven’t reread it since 2008.
5 Reasons I’m Ignoring Stephen King’s Advice
1. Consuming is Easier than Creating
It’s not easy to admit, but I can be lazy. Reading is easy. Writing, at least for me, is work. Hard work. If allow myself to be lured in by this, I will spend all of my time reading.
2. Time Is Scarce Commodity
I’m not saying I don’t read. I read a lot. But I don’t read nearly as much as he recommends. By the time he wrote On Writing, he’d been a full time author longer than I’d been alive. It’s a lot easier to say you don’t have the time to write if you don’t have the time to read voraciously when writing is your day job.
3. I Lose My “Voice”
Voice is an author’s unique way of writing. It changes over time, grows, matures, but it still is what makes their work unique.
But when I read a lot of another author, I see their voice bleeding into my work. May not be a big deal if I’m reading someone like Tessa Dare who I’d love to emulate, but…
4. My Favorite Genre Can Be “Spotty”
I love fantasy romance, but there are a lot of newer authors in the genre. That can be both fabulous and awful. I can find some really great stuff out there, and then some not so great stuff. One book I got 25% of the way through and finally gave up because errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling kept yanking me out of an already mediocre story.
5. Learn by Doing
As great as reading is, and as much as I love it (I will NOT admit how many times I’ve gone to bed late because I was reading), reading only gets me part way there. I also need to apply bottom to chair and write. I’d rather have the brain surgeon that’s performed 3,000 successful surgeries as my doctor than the one that has read about it 5,000 times. It’s a skill, and for me, sometimes the only way to learn it is to do it.
I’ll keep reading my couple of books a month and make time to write.
How about you? Ever ignore expert advice? Why or why not?