Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. I have said that to a handful of people and gotten incredulous scoffs of snobbery (you know who you are). But when it comes to how he inspired me Stephen King is a bit different from the rest. When other authors made me believe I could write, Stephen King was the one that convinced me to keep writing. I was on the verge of letting go of this silly writing dream when I started to read Stephen King.
I was not unfamiliar with King. I’d heard of him, of course. I’d seen the Shining and Pet Sematary, I knew he’d written other creepy stuff. But I didn’t grow up loving Stephen King. I never really read it until after college. I think the first book of his I read was The Tommyknockers. It freaked out me for sure, but there seemed to be more to it than that.
As I read more of King’s writing I noticed that his stories were almost always about more than simply scaring the shit out of you. His characters were so vivid. You could relate to them, feel their pain and confusion. It made the stories so real. So how did these stories keep me from giving up?
They didn’t. I read King’s book On Writing and realized it’s always going to be a struggle. But the struggle is worth it. After reading On Writing I started to read all I could about King. What his life had been like, what he struggled with, how he dealt with the shit aspects of life. Once I got to know the man a little more I realized that nothing worth doing is easy. Stephen King made me realize that writing can be really fucking hard, but not writing at all is so much worse than that.