Thursday, April 18, 2013

King's Speech: P is for POLITE

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!


If you expect to succeed as a writer, 
rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. 
The least of all should be POLITE society and what it expects. 
If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, 
your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway. 
(Stephen King)

I so wish I had figured this out a long time ago! I often straddle the fence between “normal” and “myself.” Every once in awhile, I hop off and spend some time in one camp or the other, but I ultimately find myself sitting on the fence again. One foot trails along the side of doing and saying and being what others seem to want or else pretty much losing their support and respect. The other foot dangles over the “what other people think of me is none of my business” ground.

If only truly being me felt more like a beginning than an ending  - of the past, of relationships, etc. But maybe it’s all in how you look at it….


  1. As a teacher, I've had to hold my tongue and not speak my mind lots of time.

  2. It's always been really hard for me to get past the "doing what others expect" idea. Honestly it took me years to even figure out what truly being me even meant!

  3. Sometimes it's embarrassing or shameful to lay the truth bare in our writing, but it's what makes it genuine and ultimately beautiful. I've never regretted writing the truth.

  4. Susan - you've got a tough job!

    Julie - I'm better at it than I used to be but I'm still working on it. :)

    Kate - whereas I think we'd regret it if we didn't write the "truth."

  5. I've learned to pick and choose my spots carefully when I have something to say. Often descretion is the best way to go. But as a writer, one better not upset me as the could end up being a character I kill off hahaha!

  6. I straddle that fence a lot, but lately, I seem to be leaning more toward the "I'll do it my way, regardless of what you think of it" side.

    I particularly love this:

    "If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway."

  7. I won't ever be blunt or outspoken, but I am always me.

  8. Stephen - it's definitely a balance.

    MJ - I love that line, too. :)

    Alex - always being you, being yourself, is what it's all about.

  9. My mother was always trying to get me to use tact. I am getting better but it has taken years.

  10. I'm a big fan of King too. He's right on. The best advice I ever got was: "Write scared."

    Don't be afraid to go off the deep end in your writing.

  11. Jai - tact is a good thing to have. :)

    Jay - great advice! Thanks for sharing.

  12. I try to live by that quote from King, and write without embarrassment or restraint ... but sometimes I come back to those brave words and cringe. And I've realized that if I can't bring myself to say the eff word at writer's group, or read steamy scenes out loud, I probably shouldn't have them in my manuscript.... oh well. I do try!

  13. Cathy - I don't know. I think writing them is one thing, reading them aloud is another. I struggled the first time I read "curse" words out loud to a crit group, even though it was relevant to the character and story.

  14. You need a Madeline-on-a-Stick. You'd be amazed at what you can get away with, if you have a stick doing it. :-)

  15. Cathy C - okay, now that would be hilarious! I could prop her up in with the tortoises... :)