When it comes to books about how to write, the most recommended book I’ve seen has been Stephen King’s On Writing.
I was not going to read this book.
The main reasons for completely disregarding it were (1) I’m not a fan of King’s work (nothing against him or his writing, it’s just not for me) and (2) I didn’t think a book about writing would actually hold any information I don’t already know or can’t readily google.
I was half-right about that second one.
What I didn’t realize, whenever those recommendations popped up, was that this was a memoir, a book not about how to write, but about how he grew as a writer. Sure, he gives some advice too (nothing you can’t find if you google the topic) but the book wasn’t about writing, it was about becoming a writer.
I am so glad I read it because I really appreciated seeing and feeling the struggles he went through, the struggles most writers are still going through to get published. I related to so much of it.
So I guess I’ll be joining the masses that say every writer should read this book, whether for motivation or commiseration, but I’ll be sure to say why. It’s not a writing textbook, but a story of how one person overcame so much to become one of the most famous authors of all time.
Now, the Elements of Style, that’s a textbook.
I picked it up because King recommended it several times throughout his book as a great starting out guide on the biggest mistakes new writers make in their work. From comma usage, to wrong word meanings, it’s a pretty good guide. I’ve found that some minor things in it were outdated (like the use of they for singular non-gender specific nouns) but overall, it was a comprehensive what-not-to-do list from which I took a few notes to keep in my writing toolbox for future reference. Sure, I could (and have) google it all too, but for how short the book was, I didn’t mind.
Overall, these two were a good way to start off my year of being an agented author, and hopefully a professional one. If I thought waiting on agent responses was hard, being on sub with editors is 100 times worse! Here’s to fingers crossed!