Thursday, April 11, 2013

King's Speech: J is for JUST

Regular readers of The Shellshank Redemption know how much I enjoy a good quote (see Motivational Mondays) and that I’m a huge fan of Stephen King (see the King of All Days Part I and Part II.) So, for the 2013 A-Z Challenge, I decided to combine the two, using some of my favorite King quotes about reading, writing and life in general. Enjoy!


The scariest moment is always JUST before you start.
(Stephen King)

Whenever I have an idea for a story or a novel, I tend to jot notes about scenes and characters and plot. These notes are usually in a notebook or on a piece of scrap paper or the occasional napkin. It’s not until I’m ready to start the actual writing that the nerves start flickering like a match’s tiny flame. Will I be able to do the story justice? Will the characters live and breathe on the page the way they do in my mind? Will people love the story as much as I do?

In that moment, as my fingers hover above the keyboard, the hopefulness of possibility and the despair of doubt battle for the upper hand. And what do I do? I don’t wait to see which one wins. I. Just. Start. 


  1. This is so true! I've been jotting down notes and ideas for a story but can't seem to make the leap to actually start it. I need to just stop stalling and do it.

  2. Love Stephen King and his On Writing book. So helpful!

  3. I think starting is the absolute key because some people over-think and they lose that "window"...

  4. I have the most difficulty with the start of my novels. I'm never sure where to start in the story. After I get the first one or two chapters done, I can fly through.

  5. That's about all you can do. If we listened to those doubts, we'd never get anything written.

    My scariest moment is when I hit The End. And I think about how many revisions and how long it'll take. And it's so overwhelming cause I know it'll take a lot of work.

  6. Julie - go for it!

    Jackie - it's one of my favorite craft books.

    OE - oh yes, I have shut that window a number of times myself. :)

    Susan - I try to take the pressure off by saying I'm most likely going to change the beginning anyway...

    Suzi - yeah, that scares me, too. :)

  7. I always feel that way about NaNoWriMo projects. All Halloween night, I can feel the nerves building, and they don't go away until I hit that 50k mark.

  8. Absolutely true. There's that second that I think, Well, this is just going to be an overwhelming amount of work.

    But once I start things just begin working themselves out.

  9. I just start too... though lately I've been doing a lot more brainstorming beforehand with my husband, which should make for a lot less re-write-style-editing later on.

  10. I can usually get myself started, it's the finishing that gives me the most trouble.

  11. MJ - i feel exactly the same way about NaNO!

    Kelly - the trick is to keep believing that it will all work out. :)

    JL - I did more of that this time around, too. My husband's great at helping me work out logic and plot problems.

    Tim - it's funny how for some people it's the beginning, others it's the end, and for many, many of us it's both. :)

  12. The hardest part for me is at the end of Nano and I'm left with... what is this again?

    I'm working on fixing that problem.

  13. Getting ready to start is that magic moment, the breath before the performance. I love the way you described it- I'm sure many can relate!

    Love the photos of Larry and Mrs. Larry on the sidebar- so cute! :)

  14. Starting is the hardest part. I often spend months on an idea and an outline before I begin writing.

  15. Jai - just keeping working on it, and keep moving forward. Except when you revise. Then you do have to go back... :)

    Lexie - thank you! I'll let the torts know they have another fan. :)

    Alex - outline? What outline? :)

  16. That's all you can do! It can be hard to make that leap as it's no longer a nebulous thing but becomes real. But if we want the story to exist in others' heads too, we have to give it a go.

  17. That is so true. It is the hardest part.

  18. I just had a leather journal inscribed with this quote for my husband... He's a fantastic writer who is a bit low on the self esteem. This is a great quote!


    . Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi

  19. The hardest part for me is just AFTER I start, when that first paragraph is down on the page and it definitely does not match the vision in my brain! It's an exhilarating moment too though, so fortunately I can usually keep myself going.

  20. Liz - glad you enjoyed the quote!

    Valerie - I'm sure your support means the world to him. :)

    Jillian - it's funny how it's both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. :)

  21. What he said. And what you said.

    "Just do" it makes all the difference.

    Kitchen and Kinfolk
    The Daille-y News