Thursday, 11 July 2013

Books 'n stuff

I'm reading Stephen King's book 'On Writing' and it is really very good.  The first section of the book is autobiographical (about how he was formed as a writer, he puts it).  He had a hard time growing up, but really does not make a big deal about it.  It doesn't take much to see that he wrote the horror out into his stories.  The second part of the book is actually about the nuts and bolts of writing, and I am savouring this part.  It's really very instructive.

Long ago I swore that I would never read another book by Stephen King - or James Herbert.  They are rollicking stories, but really not the best thing for those of a nervous temperament.  I read Carrie, Rats and many other books by both authors when I was young, and I really was scared out of my wits.  But this book is definitely worth breaking my promise to myself for - it's inspirational.  I have been meaning to read it for years, and am very glad that I finally got around to doing so.

 Next on my list is 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller (with Jay Papasan).  I read a review of it in the Sunday Times Style Magazine, and that has changed my life already.  The idea is that instead of writing a to-do list and trying to complete everything on it, you concentrate on the one thing in your life that will make all the others things easier or unnecessary.  And you devote at least four hours each day to your One Thing. 

So, since Monday, I have written for at least four hours each day, and I already feel so much better.  When I don't write I feel rubbish - and with so much to do in the house and for the family it is too easy to convince myself that I don't have the time to write.  But actually the time is there, I just have to choose not to do other things instead (surrender to the chaos).  And then once my one thing becomes a proper part of my life, I will see the rewards.

To be honest, I can't lose, because the writing itself brings rewards - a calmer mind and temperament, a more positive outlook. 

Anyway, because the principles of the book (as expressed in the review) made such an impact I thought I would buy the book itself, and hopefully become even more motivated and inspired.  it arrived today, I will start reading it as soon as I have finished the King, so fingers crossed for continued improvement...

I do like self-help books!  I am starting to build up quite a collection of them.  They are slightly embarrassing to have on display, so some of them tend to be squirrelled away, but one day I will stop being ashamed of my proclivity to reading about self-improvement, and let the evidence out of its secret hiding place.

Ooh - I just happened upon an article on the BBC website about a new charity called MindFull.  The article was about how the charity advocates mental health education in school.  Here's a link to the MindFull website, where young people can look for support and counselling.  It sounds good - let's hope it lives up to its promise! 


  1. I have to say how envious I am of your ability to read so much! I loved reading when I was little, particularly Enid Blyton books, and I really wish I could read as well as I could when I was younger. I think a combination of the antipsychotics I was on and the bizarre form of dyslexia I have is what has prevented me from reading as well as I used to. I can still read, obviously, but most of my reading these days is skim-reading. I'm better at writing, but I struggle to proofread my own work as I skim-read that too. It's good to hear that you're back to writing again, and finding it helpful, maybe soon you'll have your next book finished!

  2. Hi Katy. Try persevering with the reading - sometimes I have to concentrate harder than others, but the more of it I do the easier it becomes. I spend more time reading newspapers than books, something I intend to rectify as I have a heap of novels lined up waiting. Look out for an email from me this evening - something I want to run by you. Am on Nexus at no, writing very slowly indeed!