Today I bought a brand new journal. I’ve bought several journals in the past in an effort to rejuvenate my writing routine. Regardless of how much enthusiasm I had it never stuck. I have a stack of mostly blank journals, fancy notebooks and writing pads all throughout my home.
But now I have a journal that I actually look forward to writing in on a daily basis.
After reading Stephen King’s On Writing, it has become more apparent than ever before that I must take my craft seriously in order to become a good writer. Notice that I said good writer. There is no need to aspire for greatness if I can’t even be good.
Sporadically blogging won’t get the job done. I must create a plan of action and execute it with relentless precision. I may not be able to write 10 pages per day right now, but I can at least write one.
There is a section in King’s book where he lightly criticizes the productivity of some great American authors. We’re talking about literary titans such as Harper Lee, Malcolm Lowry, and Thomas Harris. He based his criticism on the fact that each writer had a relatively low number of novels published in their lifetime. When questioning how they used their time in between writing their respective works King asked the greatest question I’ve ever seen posed by a writer: “If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”
His question convicted me in a manner that I typically only experience during a powerful sermon at church. It forced me to face the sad truth that I’ve grossly misused the writing talent that God has blessed me with.
I will do better. I have too many stories to tell and too many people that need to read them.
Thank you Stephen King.