May 14, 2016 by tahenryauthoress
This might be more of a discussion than workshop but I recently read Stephen King’s On Writing and I noted down a million and one things he said and I want to talk about them a little at a time.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut. (145)
This makes perfect sense to me. Whether you read good prose or bad, fiction or non, you are learning the skill, the art, the process, as you read. This cannot help but transfer to the words you write. And the more you write the better you must get from sheer practice.
10, 000 hours=mastery.
You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. (146)
I’m not sure about this one. Mainly because I think what sweeps one person away irritates another. Just because you are swept off your feet by a sparkly day glow vampire stalker doesn’t mean I won’t drive a stake through his heart first chance I get.
If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. Simple as that. (147)
The sort of strenuous reading and writing program I advocate – four to six hours a day, every day (150)
And here is where he loses me. So if I can’t find four-six hours a day to read and write I am not a writer. Or I don’t have the tools to be a writer? Isn’t that a bit rigid? Who says I have to do the 10, 000 hours in one year? If it takes me five years, am I any less a master? Or maybe this just rubs me the wrong way because it’s an impossibility for me now in this place in my life and I don’t want to give up my efforts because I can’t meet his impossible guidelines.
Thoughts on how much time one should devote to reading and writing to be a writer? Do you think reading is an key aspect of writing?