What Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King Teach Us About Writing

Never Stop Learning

When we first start to write we know what we learned from school, but that isn’t enough to know how to write great fiction. So we read, take more classes, and absorb blogposts on the craft of writing.

After all that work we feel we know enough to put down a good, well-written story on the page. Once we know enough to finish a decent project, that is the time we often stop learning. We may be reading the occasional blogpost, but we are not devouring knowledge as much as we used to. Instead, we are spending that time on our own writing.

While we certainly know more than we did and we do need to spend time on our own writing, it is not the time to fall of the learning wagon. Although we may be having success with the knowledge we do have, there is more knowledge out there, knowledge with greater depth.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

— Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway was a successful author and is a household name in literature, yet he never consider himself or anyone else a master. If all notable authors are still students, then we are certainly still students.

Never stop reading

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time—or the tools—to write. Simple as that.”

— Stephen King

Never, ever stop reading.

If you stop reading, then how do you know how to write? We use what we put in our minds to write, and if we aren’t putting anything new in, we certainly aren’t getting better.

It is essential to a writer to read other’s writing, and take note of the styles and the plot and the characters. Reading inspires us to write, and gives us new ideas for our own works. How are we supposed to write when the ideas we get from reading dry up?

And how are we supposed to stay in love with writing when we don’t read? We all started our writing journey by loving books, so if we stop reading them, then we loose the magic in books that we found so many years ago.

Reading and writing go hand in hand, and according to King if you don’t read then your writing will suffer.

Be an apprentice

Always be a student and you will be ahead of the game. There is so much in this beautiful craft that we do not know, and if we write then we should do it to the best of our ability.

Learn always. Read Always. Study the craft and follow the advice authors who have gone before you left. They found out these things on their own, and they are now passing it on to you so you have a chance to be your best.

So be your best.

Take Action

Pick up a book and begin reading today.

What is the book you are starting? Share in the comments.

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