Tag Archives: Reading

If You Write, You Read, And You Should Read This

Despite being published 12 years ago, Stephen King: On Writing remains a compass and road map to every pencil-wielding, Starbuck’s-visting, laptop-carrying, self proclaimed wordsmith of varying degree. There exists within every page a refreshing volume of honesty; an amount which may have proven (and still prove) to be far too…well, honest, for some.

Unrestrained by ego or ill-will, Stephen King holds nothing back in admitting the struggles of any who choose to make sense of their world through words, and yet in recounting his past reveals the joys and plausibility of a life spent doing just that.

A mini-biography of sorts, the life of Stephen King was, in the early days, not nearly as grand as any who’ve read his fiction may envision. The arduos challenges, some comical and others dismal, which he reflects upon are entirely human in their vulnerability, and as a reader I found myself experiencing fleeting echoes of what he may have felt; the joy of a father unable to afford medicine for his sick child coming home to an unexpected paycheck/publishing; excitement at the phone call which finally propelled him into the spotlight; pity and pain when, years later, a van nearly took his life.

By all accounts, I am a fan. That much is clear I’m sure. What I mean to get at specifically is exactly what I’ve said in the title of this post: If you write, you read, and you should read this. As one who writes daily I’m forever grateful for the pointing out of weaker areas in my own work, like taking a college course from your favorite professor for all of $16.

If you’ve read and enjoyed any of Stephen King’s work, are interested in what made him who he is, or are looking for an entertaining way to learn how to better your craft, I implore you to pick up a copy of On Writing for yourself.

“The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing…the more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.” –Stephen King, On Writing (pg. 150)


What to Write?

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Writing for Gradient Productions has been both edifying and challenging.

Tasked daily with drafting something worth reading, in various forms, you gain a set of skills unlike those found in a classroom.

Take campaign writing: In order to get your point across the content must be simple, informative, yet creative. For a graphic flyer, you must take into account what the Visual elements are saying, and choose to either let them speak for themselves, or build upon what’s being implied. And considering you have roughly 5 seconds of an average persons’ attention, it must be short.

In the case of Narration writing, cut the unnecessary. “Audiolize” in your head the narrator’s voice and choose words appropriate to their style of speaking.

I pull inspiration from a variety of sources; Apple for the way they speak volumes for a product/campaign in 1-6 words. Certain creative minds for Vanity Fair & National Geographic. Anthony Bourdain and his superior writing “voice”.

I was an actor under the tutelage of an established screenwriter/director, and of the many lessons I learned from him, one that resonated for me as an actor/writer was that, “If you aren’t going to feature something, cut it.”

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Perfect Winter Reading

“A good book has no ending.” ~R.D. Cumming

Winter is here, yet it marks the perfect opportunity to sit by the fire with a cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other. If you’re like me, you have an overflowing bookcase that’s been filled over the years. A special thing happens when a story is local. In many ways you are able to relate, connect, and more easily envision the settings.

Such is the case with At First Sip.

The tale is based around Leah McMahon, owner of coffee shop Silk Espresso. It follows her life and important moments in her journey which ultimately led her to start her own business and fulfill a vision of what a cafe could truly be.

The inspiring story does many things; those unacquainted with Leah or her shop find themselves hoping for her in the face of hardship and cheering her on as things fall into place. Regular “Devotees” to Silk Espresso leave with a new sense of connection to a place and person that has become, for many, a home away from home.

Should you find yourself needing coffee, come to Silk Espresso Friday, December 2nd for an exclusive book signing & Live Holiday Music featuring Nathanael Sams & Elyse Ethier.

Click here and RSVP for the event!