ReBlog: Stephen King on How to be a Great Writer

I came across this fantastic article the other day—22 tips from Stephen King on how to be a great writer. Of course, worth reading.

On a note of interest… huge kudos to The Beachcomber in Destin, Florida for landing an interview with Stephen King and a photo shoot. One of my personal friends was involved, and I’m trying not to be too jealous.

So, since I didn’t get to actually meet Stephen King in person, I read this instead. It’s a good consolation prize…


Stephen King, at New York Comicon 2007. Courtesy of Pinguino.

—2015 update of an article written by Maggie Zhang

Renowned author Stephen King has written over 50 books that have captivated millions of people around the world.

In his memoir, “On Writing,” King shares valuable insights into how to be a better writer. And he doesn’t sugarcoat it. He writes, “I can’t lie and say there are no bad writers. Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers.”

Don’t want to be one of them? Here are 22 great pieces of advice from King’s book on how to be an amazing writer.

Read more…

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher, and author with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She co-publishes Space and Time magazine with author husband Ryan Aussie Smith. For more information visit
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6 Responses to ReBlog: Stephen King on How to be a Great Writer

  1. Marge Simon says:

    I think I probably read this before –however, how can a genius like King, born with a talent (like Greg Gifune says it about himself –always knew he had something special, knew he was different) advice is fine, and you can try hard and succeed in getting a name, and be a decent writer but you’ll never be the great writers those guys are. That’s just IMHO, of course!

    • Marge, I think we can’t compare ourselves, really. Genius depends a lot on current society. Dickens was amazing in his time, but few people read him now. Another 100 years, and Dickens will be like Shakespeare… everyone knows of him, few people actually read him. Shakespeare has turned into a meme.

      I think we can only hone ourselves to be our best, and that is our genius. Hopefully we can be commercial successes someday, but so much of that is marketing, luck and a homogenized culture that swallows what it’s given. If we write at our best selves, who knows what may happen. 100 years from now, maybe we will morph into Dickens and be classics.

      Bottom line, we really don’t have a choice either way. We were hardwired to write. We toil in our closets, hunched over our WIPs, with little reward except the deep, solid pleasure that comes from doing exactly what one is meant to do.

      So many people toil for nothing. At least we are servants of the muse, and have purpose.

  2. Marge Simon says:

    You’re so right, Angela. I didn’t intend to sound like “why bother, you were not born with such genius” –but I see that’s how it came out. I really was speaking to the man’s advice–if you’re going to take any advice, take it from the master himself. And your college instructors aren’t going to be Name writers unless you are very fortunate! Some of the worst writing advice was from aging professors! :)

    • Hahahaha! I didn’t take it personally, but thought maybe you were feeling down about the thankless efforts of writers in general and was trying to give a pep talk. I agree that often college instructors are teaching rules rather than writing… and that comes after I taught creative writing at a college last year.

      I would rather listen to an industry success, someone actually doing what I’d like to achieve, for advice. Hence why I read tips from the masters and bug you for your two cents in your inbox, which I always appreciate.

  3. Marge Simon says:

    You know, I have put feet in mouth again. “Some of the worst advice is from aging professors” –I had a young creative writing teacher –the only class in that subject that I ever took my soph year of college — his advice was no better than a neophyte –he was one himself. I had thought he was brilliant until I read a story he published in the campus newsletter. Awful.

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