This question goes out to all of you…whether you consider yourself a writer or not. What book changed your life?
Is there a volume that you refer to again and again, until it’s dogeared?
For me, the answer to this question is easy. (As you might suspect, since I picked it.) Stephen King’s On Writing made a significant difference in my life. I’ve been a huge fan of King’s since I first discovered a worn paperback copy of Different Seasons in the basement when I was a kid, but although I love his fiction, On Writing had an impact on me that a tall tale couldn’t hope to match.
For those of you unlucky enough to not have read this book, it’s a combination memoir/writing guide. I don’t think you have to be a writer to get a lot out of it, but it doesn’t hurt.
I first read On Writing when I was a freelance journalist. I was very busy with journalism clients, and I was doing some really cool stuff–covering the Pan Am games, traveling to Africa on the trip of a lifetime, interviewing Kiefer Sutherland. What I wasn’t doing, however, was writing fiction. No matter how successful I was as a journalist, I was always painfully aware that I was failing myself.
What On Writing did for me can be summed up simply: it got me writing for myself again. I’m not sure how, since I’d tried everything from writers’ groups to acquiring an editor, with no results. I’ve had some stops and starts along the way, but whenever I need inspiration, I can always get it from the dogeared pages of that wonderful book. I owe so much to Stephen King, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for writing it.
How about you, dear readers? What book means the most?
If I get TWENTY comments, I’ll send one lucky random winner a copy of my personal bible, On Writing by Stephen King.
Happy weekend! TGIF!