On Writing is more than a manual on creative writing by Stephen King, one of the most prolific and successful writers of our times. It is also King giving an account of himself – from his earliest attempts at writing, through the kickstarting of his brilliant career, to the accident that almost led him to quit writing.
Along the way, he discusses tremendously personal issues such as his relationship with his wife, the writer Tabitha King, and his struggles with substance abuse.
As a memoir, On Writing is evocative and inspiring. As a writer’s almanac – written in King’s straightforward, unfussy style – it has inspired and guided aspiring writers for over fifteen years.
“The best part of the book remains his account of how writing – and the primitive urge to write – saved his life after the accident. It’s a bizarre and absorbing story, told brilliantly by one of the great storytellers of our time,” writes Jay Parini in his review of the book in The Guardian.
“The real importance of this congenial, ramshackle book, however, lies neither in its autobiography nor in its pedagogy, but in its triumphant vindication of the popular writer, including the genre author, as a writer. King refuses to draw, and makes a strong case for the abolition of, the usual critical lines between Carver and Chandler, Greene and Grisham, DeLillo and Dickens. Given the intelligence and common sense of his approach, perhaps his books’ many readers will join him in that refusal,” says a Publishers Weekly review of the book.
Published in 2000.