My copy of Stephen King’s “On Writing” arrived on Friday of last week. Wowee, it is even better than I expected, and my expectations were pretty high, since I’ve been a fan of his fictional work since middle school. I love his essential style of choosing words that are so descriptive that I can see the scenes. I can see the dilapidated cottage where Beverly has tea with the monster in “It”, I can see the moving topiary in “The Shining” (that book scared the shit out of me when I read it back in school and it still gives me the willies). He just paints word pictures so well that I get irritated when other writers faffle on instead of just getting to the point. I want to write like that. I don’t know how to, but I want to, but not about monsters.
He has a passage in this book in which he talks about informal writing, the classic “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” prose and how it’s mainly fluff. Well, isn’t that what blogging is, generally? I come onto my blogsite, write on more or less assigned topics during Bloganuary, and voilà, we have an informal essay, don’t we?
I may just be misunderstanding due to reading this book so late in the evening, almost half asleep. Then again, I may just be writing “how I spent my summer” drivel over and over again. Mr King, could you please tell me?
So, what was the point of all the informal essays in school? Was it like “filler” writing, just to exercise putting sentances and paragraphs together to comunicate an idea or a memory? Probably, I would have to go back over thirty years to ask Mrs Moore, who was my English teacher for at least three of the four years at Deming High. Was all that fluff writing actually like working out at the gym, using different machines for different muscle groups?
I think that I am overthinking this and should just get on with writing. Every day. Like brushing my teeth or washing my face. Doing my writing planks and squats. Building those muscles, layering my toolbox.