Monday, April 29, 2013

King's Speech: Y is for YEARS

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!


I have spent a good many YEARS since – too many, I think – being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent.
If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose) 
someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all. 
(Stephen King)

People read some of my stories and wonder how much of “me” is in it - did that really happen? Is that how I really feel about this person or that situation? Other times, people read my scarier stuff and look at me with sidelong glances, nervous about what’s going inside the mind of the “normal” looking person standing next to them.

Both those situations used to make me extremely uncomfortable, and I’d fall all over myself explaining it’s the character that feels that way, not me or it’s based on a nightmare I had, not something I made up consciously. Now, though, I just smile mysteriously and let people think what they want. They’re going to anyway, so why bother trying to convince them otherwise? Besides, it’s so much more fun to see their faces as they work out whether or not you’re kidding about the voices in your head….


  1. I do wonder what my family would think if they read my books, but like you said, it's fun to just let them think what they want. It's something that's really hard to explain anyway, isn't it?

  2. You're right...that is much more fun. =)

  3. With some of the stories King has written, it's kind of funny to think about what some people might have thought about what was going on in his mind LOL. :D

  4. Nick - once I stopped trying to explain it all, I had more fun. :)

    MJ - definitely!

    Julie - I guess you never really know what goes on inside someone's mind.... :)

  5. So funny how much MORE autobiographical people assume fiction is than it usually is. And it IS strange how many people just can't quite grasp how personal the choice of genre is. I get a lot of 'You should write..." with suggestions for stuff I really don't even READ, but people think there is a trend to catch and I should be doing it. *rolls eyes*

  6. We can't control what others think - so just let them!

  7. Another great quote.

    So right about people believing what they want anyway.

    It can sometimes be a compliment when people "recognize" themselves in a book. It says the author's done a good job of tapping into something those people relate to.

    Y is for Yesterday (quotes & motivation)
    The Daille-y News

  8. I like that, just smile and let them think what they are going to think any way.

  9. Hart - it is funny how people see "reality" in fiction.

    Alex - you got it!

    Barbara - I suppose, unless they tink they're the "villain." :)

    Jai - I read somewhere once and I try to keep it in mind - "What other people think of me is none of my business."

  10. LOL! I totally get this. It's time to stop apologizing for what's typed into the page and embrace our unique brand of "crazy," eh?

  11. I suppose that arriving at that point when we really don't care (as much, at least) about what people think about our writing and our inspirations is great sign of author/artist maturity and progress in our journey.

    And I love that quote about 'what other people think of me is none of my business'. I think I read that one in an Anne Lamott book but whether she said it first I don't know.

    Good things to think about here!

  12. Crystal - absolutely!

    Lexie - I think I read that line in an article in an old issue of O Magazine. It was quite awhile ago but obviously the line stuck with me. :)

  13. Some people do get confused between fact and fiction. Just let them make their own minds up (they probably have already anyway).

  14. How true. Readers are gonna think what they think, so I saw write what you want and keep 'em guessing if it's fact or fiction.

  15. I couldn't help wondering if women get judged more for writing horror, as in "how could she write about such an awful thing?" whereas if a man wrote something convincingly creepy, then he would be called a good writer.

  16. Valerie - :)

    Donna - I like the idea of keeping them guessing. :)

    Cynthia - that's a really interesting point! And something to think about.