Posts Tagged With: Writing
The source of this deliciously well-written post (I’m just only hosting it): here.
Writing is a doddle. Just look at this. Look at what I’m doing right now! I could literally tap the ever-loving shit out of these keys all day and never break a sweat. But that’s the difference between writing for fun in a squalid crack den using a nearby heated spoon as a WiFi access point, and writing to feed a family and pay the heating bill.
Carving a career as a writer is hard (as opposed to the actual act of writing itself). It’s not always book signings and movie adaptations. And even if it is (as is the case with these examples) the stress and the piled up years of torment and rejection after rejection is bound to play an evil role in it all. Call it their muse. Call it medicinal or therapeutic or a deep-routed desire to kill onself slowly. However you choose to disguise it some writers just need that morning whiskey before continuing with that paragraph.
The following are great American writers who may have screwed up some vital organs in pursuit of alcohol and artistc outlet but managed to achieve a hell of a lot more by doing so than if they’d have been quaffing carrot juice and having yoga sessions.
Stephen King (1947 – )
Who is he?
Probably one of the most famous authors currently writing today. If you were to lay all his published short stories, novels, novellas and film adaptations end to end…you would be ousted as a weirdo. At the height of his success he took the rockstar approach to writing and began indulging in a variety of substances. To the point where he has even been quoted as saying that he had no recollection of writing the novel Cujo.
So what has he achieved?
Just about everybody on the planet has read at least one of his books (or seen his films for those of you with no imagination). His work is so widely accessible and popular entire sections of high street bookshops are set aside just to house his work and several of his adaptations have gone on to win awards . In short: what has he achieved? FUCKING EVERYTHING!
Oh, and he slated Twilight author Stephanie Meyer.
What happened to him in the end?
He cleaned up (boo hiss!). After the publication of The Tommyknockers in the late 80′s his family held an intervention. Emptying a bin bag in front him they saw – amongst beer cans and cigarette ends – cocaine, Xanax, Valium, NyQuil, dope and…er…cough medicine (hey, drugs are drugs). It was basically a Wurzel Gummidge version of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing passage (below). He stated in his memoirs that he quit drink and drugs after that. And his subsequent novels have not been as well received since. Just saying…
The following is an excerpt from Roger Rosenblatt’s “Unless it Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing,” which has been published by HarperCollins on January 11th.
TO: My ungrateful students
RE: An inspirational letter
Oh, read it anyway. You may not need this postscript as much as I need to give it to you. But there is something about writing I haven’t told you, in part because it smacks of the sentimental and abstract—two of the monsters I’ve hoped to drive from your work. And yet, if I fail to give you this final piece of information, if I let you stride toward that desk of yours thinking that good writing consists only of precision and restraint, and of the right words in the right order, and using anticipation over surprise, and imagination over invention and the preference of the noun to the adjective and the verb to the adverb, and a dozen other little lessons, however helpful they may be, you may conclude that once you’ve nailed these ideas, well, you’re a writer. Well, you’re not. Not yet.