is for me hands-down the best book I've read about the craft of writing and living the life of a writer by a writer.
This is not a textbook on grammar and sentence structure. No, the subtitle very succinctly describes the contents. This is about Stephen King's journey to become a published author and his experiences in wrestling with words.
To hear stories about how one of the world's most popular authors once upon a time struggled just like the rest of us mortals is refreshing. Those stories about him just starting out were the real draw for me. They are highlighted with a sort of historic timeline, punctuated by his well-known early works. Later on in the book my attention was held by personal anecdotes, such as the time he was hit by a vehicle and nearly killed.
I read this prior to having read a single book by King. In fact, at the time I read this I could be called one of King's anti-fans. My college professors imparted a very low opinion of King's work upon me and that opinion stayed with me right up until recently when I read his stuff for myself.
So why did I pick up On Writing
in the first place? Well, the man's ability to sell a buttload of books (a hell of a lot more than those nay-saying professors) can't be denied. Why wouldn't it be worth reading the advice of an author who had legions of rabid fans, even if I didn't think much of his writing? It would be like shooting off my nose to spite my face.
Young, struggling writers, don't shoot your nose off. Read On Writing