At any rate, maybe because writing is such a solitary profession, or it could be that a writer's imagination is wired to find "kindred spirits" in books - whatever the reason - I now feel like Stevie (yes, he calls himself that in the book) is my new BFF, wise mentor, and witty grammatical go-to-guy all rolled into one. Observe:
"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-sytem for art. It's the other way around." (pg. 101)
SK's sage words stand on their own, but he doesn't leave it there. Later on, this warning against letting your writing consume your life will seem to be at odds with a reminder to take what we're doing seriously:
"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement,
hopefulness, or even despair - the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page." (pg. 106)
ON WRITING is full of this kind of brilliance that spot-on names the tension we feel as writers, articulates the challenges of creating stories, and passes out English-teacherish lessons on quality writing. Don't wait as long as I did to give this a read.
And, do share: what other writing books can't you live without?
P.S. Thanks, Stevie! Looking forward to meeting up again when I reread your book.