On Writing by Stephen King :Book summary you must read


On Writing  by Stephen King, a book summary :The back story

I write about health ,wellness  and my journey as a mompreneur on my blog.



While writing ,the most important thing I try to remember is to make it readable (Yoast helps ).

Even the best information, finds no takers if it’s boring .If it has no story to tell ,it  will find few takers.

When I started Blogging all the best bloggers suggested, you need to tell a story .

I really didn’t get it maybe because writing about reflux and depression was difficult for me as a story.
On Writing(*affiliate link).. a memoir  of the craft ” was  just ,the book I needed to read.

King makes grammar lessons interesting.I finished reading this book (the main 327 pages ) in four hours.Don’t forget it’s nonfiction .

The book was  described by the Guardian as “part biography part collection of tips for the aspiring writers.”Its one of the books you must read, if you want to write well.

In the authors words:

“To learn about writing,learn from people who write.”
Stephen King is one of the bestselling writer of horror fiction books.

When I thought about learning how to tell a story even in nonfiction ,the best way to learn was from the master of fiction.
I approached the book with a lot of worry.A book on writing ?
What am I thinking?
But  the author has you hooked from the  forward itself.He talks about his passion for” the art and craft of telling stories on paper”.

To sum up the book :

There are no shortcuts.The only way to write well,fiction or nonfiction is

“to read a lot and write a lot”.

Now to give you the nitty gritty of the book.

The book is divided into 4 sections:

  • CV
  • Toolbox
  • On Writing
  • On Living  a  postscript


The CV: glimpse behind the molding of the writer

The story of how Stephen King became Stephen King.Reading it, you will realize why hardships are important.  

For you to reach your full potential ,your experiences are important. The good, bad and the ugly.

The author had a less than perfect childhood.But what he experienced, gave him the skills and the perfect mindset ,to spin tales out of thin air.
In the CV he says” my attempt to show how one writer was formed”.
He believes writing comes from within.You are born with the necessary  “equipment “.
Not necessarily  best seller material  but certain raw material needs to be there as storyteller.
With learning ,practice  these skills can be strengthened and sharpened.

That’s why you need to read.If you read the masters, you learn.When you read books which are not that good,even then you learn.

Books are the best teachers.
As The King puts it  aptly,
“If you don’t read other people’s work,don’t expect them to read yours.”

 You realize that most of the human weakness and doubts are universal.

That’s the wonderful thing about reading about  famous people.

He says that good writing need not just be about heavy important topics.
It can be simultaneously,  intoxicating and idea driven.
As a blogger you are a writer .Have you not felt the biggest adrenaline rush when someone praises your way of  storytelling.
Just like the Aesop’s fables the best lessons are learned when they are sugar wrapped.
Just because the topic about which you write is serious it need not be boring.

Important lesson

Serious need not be boring

Why I loved this part?

The author is a serious book addict .That makes us book soul _siblings (separated by time,space and reality).
He carries  a book everywhere (just like me).King  reads  while walking on the treadmill!

That coincidence is uncanny(that’s a fan speaking!)
In the last part of the CV he talks of performing a mentalist routine over time and distance.

Reading the CV you will realize why writing,fiction or nonfiction is visual.If you can make your readers picture it in their mind.You have done your part as a writer.

On Writing by Stephen King a book summary

On Writing by Stephen King a book summary


In the Toolbox

The author,talks about the grammar,length of sentence and the most importantly.
“Why you should avoid the passive tense.”

Favourite quote from this part:

” We are talking about  tools and carpentry ,about words and styles…but as we move along ,you’d do well to remember that we are also talking about magic”.

That’s example of intoxicating nonfiction.Making you imagine you can weave magic  out of words.

On Writing

Before you write don’t forget to read .That’s a deep lesson.”Reading is the creative centre of a writer’s life”.
I think that’s why I love blogs too.You can read so many different  types and learn so much.
He advises four to six hours writing every day together with reading a lot.


That is the great commandment in this section.
He very wisely tells you to write about what you know and mix it up with your experiences of life.That’s a pretty potent formula.

On Living : A Postscript

The last part is about his resurrection after a life altering event.

My favourite quote in this section:

“Writing is magic,as much the water of life as any other creative art.The water is free.So drink”.

If you are writing in any way,i f you want to write…don’t stop.
If there’s one book on writing which you must read , it is this one.I thought I would get a grammar handbook.What I got was a life handbook.

Writing is cleansing.Writing is cathartic.
Writing is happiness.Writing is Immortality.

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  1. This sounds very interesting and now I know where you got the inspiration from – Chat from Treadmill!

  2. This looks like an interesting book and I am tempted to buy it right now. Although..my hands are so full right now that I dont get time to read books..this one looks like something not to be missed.

  3. I absolutely love Stephen King! I’ve read all of his books and I think I’ll pick this one up. I like reading too, you get the see a ton of different posts and places you may have never seen otherwise. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Hello, Amrita -hope you remember…..
    I loved reading this journal….. Well, I read this book…. n you just reminded me yet again…. those essential points….

    In the middle to have mentioned Kings… quote “If you don’t read other people’s work,don’t expect them to read yours.”
    I really agree with it.

    I wanna appreciate your effort as a blogger, I like your writing….
    Keep in touch ma’am.

  5. I am such a Stephen King lover, I even listen to the books on cd’s in my car. He is a great person to teach others how to write a great memoir. One thing about Stephen King he can pull you in with his stories and draw you in til the end of the book. Great review!!!

    • Absolutely Whitney.The book is a nonfiction fairytale.If there’s such a thing.Serious stuff need not put you to sleep.That’s the lesson😊