Stephen King On Writing – Author Resources

There are so many author resources out there that it is sometimes hard to know where to start. In this Author Resources series, I will help you out, by recommending some of my favorite books for (aspiring) writers. In this installment, I present to you: Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. This book is great if you are a writer with impostor syndrome. It not only has a lot to say about the writer’s toolbox, but it also shows that even the most famous writers in the world experience crippling self-doubt.

Stephen King's Impostor Syndrome

Stephen King, the master of fiction, the world renowned, multi-millionaire (presumably) bestselling author… Is a writer with impostor syndrome. If you are to take one thing away from his very impressive and entertaining “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft“, it is that.

When I talk to my clients, 99% of the time the thing they struggle with is the feeling that they are an impostor. Everyone who does something new has created this story in their heads. They will come up with a long list of reasons why they are not qualified to write this book. 

Honestly, I’ve talked to someone who has three restaurants, won several cooking awards and feels like they are not qualified to write a cookbook. Or another client, who has taught English and poetry for six years and doesn’t feel like anyone should take them seriously as a poet. 

Stephen King's On Writing

Enter Stephen King’s On Writing. This memoir (yes, it’s a perfect example of a memoir in addition to being a great resource for writers) details his life. It describes how this child was always driven to write; talks about his first published story (his brother printed a magazine in the basement); and how much he struggled to get his work out there. We cheer with him when his first book is published, helping him to get out of what we can certainly call poverty. 

And how all that seemed to fall apart when he almost died after a car hit him.

This author talks openly and honestly about his trials and obstacles (as well as the value of editors). And he talks about how he had times when he absolutely did not believe he was ever going to make his money writing. He was suffering from a serious case of impostor syndrome.

Now, I’m not saying that when you read this book you too can become as wildly successful (and rich) as Stephen King. But what I am saying is that there is something about having a bestselling author tell you about their doubts, fears and trials… That might make you feel a bit less alone and leave you with a bit more faith in yourself. It might help you free yourself enough from your own impostor syndrome to finally write what you want.

Oh, and if you want to really be like King: use your preface to write a love letter to your editor. We (hopefully) deserve it. 

On Writing Favorite Quotes

These are my favorite quotes from Stephen King’s On Writing:

“The real importance of reading is that it create an ease and intimacy with the process of writing; one comes to the country of the writer with one’s papers and identification pretty much in order.”


“Don’t wait for the muse. As I’ve said, he’s a hardheaded guy who’s not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering.”


“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out [and] it belongs to anyone who wants to read it.”

Which one do you like best? Share them on social media or let me know in the comments!

How can you become a better writer?

Reading books is an absolutely fantastic way to become a better writer. If you are looking for more books you can read to learn to write better, check out my other “Author resources” blog posts. 

But books can only take you so far: sometimes what you really need to become a better writer is some one-on-one time with an expert. Whether you’re experiencing impostor syndrome or any other type of struggle: if you’re at that point right now, just schedule your first free Passionate Writer Coaching meeting here!