The King’s Challenge


I have said it often enough here that you guys should be sick of it, but this is an awesome book. It mixes human enough stories of an honest man’s life with the bare bones hard truths of being a successful writer. Basically, outside of The Elements of Style, this is the book on writing that we all need.

And lord how I hated it. Down to every, you can’t wait for inspiration and you can’t be a writer if you don’t make the time to read. I knew what I was as a writer, and no man no matter how famous was going to tell me I actually had to work at being a writer. No way no how!

As the story goes, life beat me around and bit and let me know in no uncertain terms that I couldn’t just toss words on paper and get rich. And then I grew up and out of writing real quick until I came back some years ago. Then I re-read this book.

I decided soon after to fight back against this writing slump, and as you can see it has been kinda fruitful. I’ve got half of a novel written and plenty ideas and stories to develop and play with. All because I finally followed some decent and honest advice from a guy that’s been there.

The biggest of which is the whole reading to write thing, which I fought the hardest against since I first read this book as a freshman in high school. But ultimately fueled my modest victory in April of writing 27,000 words in 30 days. Because I read the whole month, just as much as I wrote.

Yes, my re-read of the Dark Tower series during April was the biggest drive to get me writing. And I know that sounds like a theme or obsessive fangirling, but it was just a coincidence along with the fact that I really enjoy Stephen King’s fantasy (not his horror so much except for Bag of Bones and Rose Madder).

So in honor of that simple honest advice, and to prepare for NaNoWriMo this coming November, I am creating my own self-challenge. Once I finish writing this post sitting at my own favorite Starbucks table, I am heading over to the adjacent Goodwill.

Once I arrive there I will take out my reusable bag and fill it with every weird novel I find interesting. I will take special care to spread the love across all the genres, even mystery which has never been my favorite and put together a collection of books to read.

My goal is to read all of them before the end of NaNoWriMo, November 30th, 2017, and use them to fuel my own writing and listen to a variety of new voices to see how many different ways I can build a world. In the hopes that I will finally finish the first draft of a novel for NaNo and reach over 50,000 words.

I will also go over to A.C. Moore and purchase a handful of bright rainbow embroidery floss for a hand project if that is of interest to any of you out there. Seriously, us creative types must all have multiple creative hobbies right? I mean King himself is in a rock band.

Anyway, the coffee is gone, and the people are starting to surround me. It is time to move on…


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