I love it when an epiphany and a pen come together. Yesterday I was walking to school to pick up my sons, it was sunny, the car park was full and the walk was long. I had a meeting with Stephen King Junior’s teacher planned, so I was thinking about SKJ, who he is, what he likes and what he gets up to.
Stephen King Junior gets up to a lot of writing, hence the name. He’s a genre specialist, he likes to blend science fiction, fantasy, action, graphic. And he produces. Boy, does he produce. But how does he write so freely? I crossed the road, I was almost down the driveway, a cluster of mothers waited for their kids, I recognised one of them, I waved. Then I stopped in my tracks.
He writes like that because he believes he can fly. I took my pen out of my bag and scrawled it on my hand before I could forget it.
Stephen King Junior writes like he has wings because he doesn’t know about failure. He doesn’t know about rules. He writes with abandon because he can.
I used to write like that. Before editing, before publication. Now I unpack and pack and unpack everything I write, it’s like I have suitcases in every room and a baggage carousel in the laundry.
Writers make manuscripts and publishers make books. Finding out what goes into a novel: the editing, the marketing, the cover (and I do love the cover), was priceless. I tried to pay attention, though there was so much to take in. I made notes, I saw ways to improve, there are some mistakes I’ll never make again: I won’t dangle my participles, I won’t recap and I won’t let my chronology loose and spewy all over the page. I get it.
But all this knowing has given me paralysis.
I’m frozen at twenty thousand words. I’ve got freaking ice on my wings, because I’m thinking about the editor, the publisher, the buyer, the reviewer.
Well, not anymore.
I learned a million dollar writing tip from my ten year old. It’s lucky I don’t mind accepting advice from a child.
Kids ride their bikes with no hands. They turn corners without looking. Kids don’t know about consequences, or if they do, they don’t care. Childhood is freedom with chores.
Don’t worry, write. Don’t check the depth. Have fun. For Stephen King Junior, up there above the clouds, there is no fear, there is only story.
Write like you have wings.
where stories are born