Staying Faithful To What You’re Working On

Stephen King – my idol, my guide, the author I hope to emulate someday.

So tonight I stumbled across the above quote while doing a little bit of reading about my literary hero, Stephen King. Those of you who don’t already know how much I admire this man need only look back at my previous posts to see that I really do hang on every word he writes.

The quote got me thinking – what am I waiting for? I was working on a short-story earlier. It’s not a particularly great story or original or well-written, but it is a piece of work I’d be happy to put my stamp on (when it’s finished) and have people read to get an idea of my writing style. The thing is, my heart isn’t really in it and I couldn’t pinpoint why. Then I started delving into Stephen King for some inspiration or some idea of what direction to go in next and I found this quote. Stay faithful to what I’m working on.

So, almost 6 weeks after its completion, I have returned to Haunt again from the beginning. I’m 28 pages in (of the 196 I’ve written), that’s A4 size of course, and I’ve realised something great: I still really like it. Anybody who knows me as a writer (especially my close friend Jennie) will tell you that I am my own worst critic, which I’m sure is the case for a lot of aspiring writers like myself out there. The point is: I’ve never really liked anything that I’ve written. At a second glance I usually say, “It’s badly written” or “It’s full of plot holes” or “It’s pointless and boring and the characters are shit and the dialogue makes no sense.” Well, not this time around!

It is well-written, it’s not full of plot holes, and it’s got a point and it’s interesting and the characters are believable and likeable and the dialogue flows pretty well. It really is the antithesis of what I expect my writing to be at a second (let alone a third!) glance. I love that though, it’s given me a renewed excitement in this piece of work I’ve crafted. Especially when my literary-brain is hot off the back of finishing Doctor Sleep, so my mind is already glued to that high standard of storytelling. If I think my own writing is even a tenth as good as I see Mr. King (idol, guide, author I want to emulate) then I know I’m doing a good job. And you know what? I think it might be as much as a third as good as I see Mr. King. That might not mean a lot to everybody, but it means a hell of a lot to me.

After having a hard month and financially being really in the lowest of the lows it’s refreshing to know that my dream can still provide that glimmer of hope. Well tonight it’s not just a glimmer, it’s a damned lighthouse! It’s a way off, but I also found my book of twelve first-class stamps today that I had lost months ago (before I even started this rendition of Haunt) and then found the A4 envelopes I’d bought as well. I see it as a sign – somewhere my spirit guide (called Seymour) is saying to me, “Alright, enough of the idle laziness. Get your fucking ass in gear, Mister!”

And for the first time in a long time my response isn’t “I’m tired” or “I’m too sad”. This time I’m saying, “I’m on it, boss!”


7 comments on “Staying Faithful To What You’re Working On

  1. Daniel says:

    Thanks, I needed that. I was contemplating leaving a novel half finished to start something else. The master says no, so I will remain on the path….

    • kylewotton says:

      I would definitely say persevere! There were times early on when I was writing Haunt that I felt like it was a hopeless endeavour, but finishing that last page was one of the most rewarding moments of my life. And now editing through and finding that it’s really not half-bad is a great feeling. I wish that feeling on every aspiring writer like myself, keep at it Daniel 🙂

  2. CurtissAnn says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I needed it.

    • kylewotton says:

      Thank you for the comment and for reading 🙂

      Sometimes I think all it takes is reading that one little thing or seeing something that sparks your imagination and suddenly you’re off on a creative tour de force!

  3. dawnhosking says:

    King has been a great influence on me and I love his book ‘On Writing’ – the best advice I’ve had to date. What I like about him is his ability to ‘stick to the story’. If there is one way to keep me turning pages that is it – stay with the tale. Description is good but for me ‘less is more’. I’m loving George RR Martins Song of Ice and Fire epic too – his writing is vivid and powerful. Kings’ Dark Tower is special to me in many ways. I’m not a fan of horror stuff but Misery, The Green Mile (awesome writing) and The Dark Tower really showcase a storyteller at his best – in my opinion.

  4. Kyle I enjoyed the message in your words today! I am also an admirer of Stephens books! Thanks for the follow. Have a wonderful weekend!

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