Finding Time

I've read tons of writing books.

If you're pursuing an occupation/pastime/vocation ... call it what you will ... it's natural to see what advice is available. One of the compensations for writers looking for advice is that the advice is invariably well written. Or if it isn't, you can safely disregard it.

Stephen King, who has been described as the world's most successful living writer, wrote a book of advice for writers, called On Writing. Part memoir, part discussion of the writing life, it doesn't dictate what writers must do in order to be successful, but has many suggestions (based, of course, on his own experience).

But one piece of advice he does give, and forcefully, is that to be a successful writer you must write a lot, and read a lot. To demonstrate his own reading, King lists in an appendix the books he has read in the two or three years prior to finishing On Writing. It's an impressive list, whose integrity is reinforced (for me, at least) by the inclusion of Furnace by Muriel Gray. Gray's latest, The Ancient, has King's blurb on the back cover.

No-one can doubt that Stephen King writes a lot. But where on earth does he find the time to read so much? I wish I could.


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