“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.” Steven King, in On Writing
I’m reading King’s memoir/handbook about writing on the recommendation of my critique partner. I can’t believe I’ve not read it before. Advice aside, King is funny enough to make you laugh out loud in the jury room. (Yes, I’m in jury duty detention.) Reading King on writing reminds me why I devoured every one of his books in junior high school. I haven’t read him in a long time – lost my appetite for horror, I guess – but “hack” or no, the man has story chops like no one’s business.
The above quote comes at the end of a chapter about his addictions to drug and alcohol, and it really resonated with me. Not because of addiction – shoes and books don’t count, apparently – but because my desk is in the corner of my living room. Some of you may remember that I am grateful to even have a desk. King’s quote reminds me that one doesn’t need an ivory tower or a fancy desk or even peace and quiet to write.
I am guilty of putting off writing. Someone’s watching TV, or the dog is jumping around, or the trash trucks are too loud. There’s always an excuse to stop. I’ve gotten better, though, since reading another piece of advice recently ” to write despite the incoming.” That if you can write in the midst of life going on around you, you’ll always be able to write.
Which is why I’m working on my novel as I sit, waiting to be called for a jury.