Good morning, everyone!
Despite the fact that I only got a few hours of sleep last night (parent life), I still want to spread motivation with everyone and hopefully encourage some of you to tackle that blank page, writer’s block, self-doubt, etc. My brain feels like pudding, so bare with me! I apologize in advance if none of this makes any sense.
Today I wanted to share Stephen King’s story with you. I think it’s safe to say most of us know who he is. He’s been writing for a few decades now, and a lot of his work has been made into movies and TV shows (most recently, The Dark Tower and IT.)
But despite his fame, King started at the bottom just like everybody else. And actually, he started a little lower than most.
When King was two-years-old, his father went out to buy a pack of cigarettes and never came back. This left his mother a single parent of two (King and his older brother, David.) Growing up, King’s mother struggled to provide for her family. They were very poor, but that didn’t stop King from writing. He wrote a variety of things through his teen years, even selling some of his stories to his friends.
1966 through 1970, King studied at the University of Maine where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In order to pay for his tuition, he worked a variety of odd jobs, including being a janitor, a gas pump attendant, and a worker at an industrial laundry facility.
After graduating, King married and had a daughter, and it was around that time that his struggle with substance abuse began, which lasted for more than a decade. By the time his family held an intervention in the late 80s, King was an alcoholic and drug addict, and he had been abusing cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, Valium, and other substances. After the intervention, King got help and has been sober ever since.
King had a difficult time believing in himself and his work, especially in the beginning of his career. King’s first novel CARRIE was originally thrown in the trash after just a few pages had been written. But after his wife’s encouragement, he finished it, and it was published shortly after in 1973. He received a $2,500 advance, and the paperback rights would eventually earn over $400,000.
King even wrote a few stories under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Reportedly, he did so to “test” his writing—to see if Richard Bachman could become just as successful as Stephen King. He did this to ease his fears that his popularity was just an accident, but it was later found out that King was behind the pseudonym.
In 1999, King was hit by a car while he was walking on the side of the road. His injuries were severe and included a collapsed lung, a broken hip, and so many fractures in his right leg that doctors considered amputating it (but they didn’t.) King struggled to write after his accident, and temporarily quit in 2002 due to pain from his injuries and loss of stamina. However, since then he’s stated he does write, just at a much slower pace.
In his lifetime, King has written around 200 short stories, and he’s written and published 54 books which have sold over 350 MILLION copies, many of which were adapted into movies, TV shows, and comic books. He’s won dozens of awards, including the National Book Award and the Hugo Award. He’s been praised for his work and he’s been criticized for it, but without a doubt, King is one of the most famous and most successful writers in the world.
And he did it all despite his limitations in his early life, despite his self-doubt, and despite his struggle with substance abuse.
If your dad abandoned you as a child.
If you grew up with practically nothing as the child of a single mom.
If you had to work your ass off to pay for your college education.
If you doubt your ability to write and every other word you put on that page.
If you’re consumed by alcoholism or substance abuse every waking moment.
If you’ve been in a horrible accident that limits your ability to write.
You can still be a writer.
Despite these limitations, these challenges, these hurdles, you can overcome them.
Just like Stephen King did.
I believe you can do it. I know you can do it. There is greatness in you. It might be hard to see it sometimes, if you ever see it at all, but it’s there. And you may not be in the best place in your life. You might be stuck in the bottom of a bottle, or too poor to feed yourself, or so full of self-doubt you can’t even touch your keyboard. But you can get through it and come out on top, just like Stephen King.
The most important thing? You’ve got to try. You’ve got to work for it.
And the second most important thing? You can’t give up.
Tackle that blank page despite the things holding you back. Write. Write. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Show the world what you can do.
And you CAN do it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently, especially not that voice of doubt in the back of your mind.
I believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself.
GO WRITE! 🙂
Source for post and to read more about King’s story, go here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King
Need more motivations? Come at me! I’m tired, but I’ve got more to spare! Hopefully it makes sense!