5 Reasons I’m Ignoring Stephen King’s Advice

Most writer’s have heard Stephen King’s famous writing advice.

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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.

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This might give me more time as I would never be able to sleep again.

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.

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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?

Consume vs. Create

It’s so much easier for me to consume than to create.

I think we can agree that it’s easier to sit down to a delicious supper than it is to make one. Easier to wear a clean shirt than do laundry. And it’s easier to read a book than to write one.

You’ll note from the number of book reviews lately that I’ve been doing a lot of reading. As a writer, you’d think that would be a good thing. Maybe it is. Or maybe it’s a symptom of a much nastier beast.

The decision to consume someone else’s work rather than make my own. And, I’ve been consuming a bit of it lately. Some of it’s good, some of it’s not, and I have been trying to make a point of figuring out what works in the different novels I’ve been reading. That’s one of the reasons I write the reviews.

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I’d love to say that while I’m reading, I’m also taking time in the same day to edit. But that’s not true. I have a limited amount of non-work, non-kid time. If I’m reading a lot, you can guarantee its cutting into my writing time. Or devouring it altogether.

I could say I’m toying with ideas. That would be true. I have ideas for two more stories percolating. But that’s not what’s consuming my time.

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I could say I’m listening to my muse, studying steamy scenes, or any number of other things. But, they’d be lies. The truth is that I really don’t want to edit my story. The POV edit for a book is brutally hard. Harder than any other edit I’ve done, except the last POV edit. Does it need to be done? Probably. I mean, yes.

And maybe therein lies part of the problem. While my brain knows I need to do the rewrite, my heart is a little bitter. I still read authors who write with the POV I did on this novel, but they’re best-sellers, and I’m not. They get to do it, and I don’t. So does it need to be done? Yes. Do I want to do it? No. And there’s the difficulty.

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If we boil it down, it sounds an awful lot like procrastination dressed up as research. Because of course I have to read books in my chosen genre to become a better writer when I should be editing.

Yup. Procrastination.

Sneaky little sucker. Apparently, the brain can trick you into procrastinating, making you think you’re doing something else.

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But, this rewrite won’t write itself. I’ve already put so much into this book, I can’t leave it as electrons in my machine. The hero is one of my favorites I’ve ever written, and he deserves his story told and his happily-ever-after.

Back to the grindstone. Giving myself a deadline on Crowned Prince (possibly renamed to Dracor’s Chosen) really has helped. Perhaps I should draw a line in the sand and say I’ll have Knight of Valor’s POV rewritten by September 1st. There, I said it.

*gulp* Time to edit. Right after I finish Dracor’s Chosen. Still have until the end of June…

 

How about you? Ever had procrastination hide as something beneficial? Or do you always know when you’re procrastinating? Do you find it easier to consume than create? Maybe you like editing more than I do?