Writers logo

3 Writing Habits You Should Steal From Stephen King

Close the door to writing better

By Elise L. BlakePublished 24 days ago 3 min read
3 Writing Habits You Should Steal From Stephen King
Photo by Morgan Harper Nichols on Unsplash

Stephen King. 

The master of the horror genre and second only to Fifty Shades of Grey when it comes to lining aisles in used book stores. 

He certainly fills out the shelves in big brand bookstores and independent ones as well, but their selections are more often than not limited to recent releases. 

With You Like It Darker set to hit shelves this week, it's a good time to be reminded of what we can learn from the author of many well-loved novels such as The Shining, Misery, and Cujo.  

1. Write Every Day

One of Stephen King's most repeated writing habits is his daily commitment to writing. 

It doesn't matter if he feels inspired to write or what else the plans for the day are. It could be Christmas or his birthday and he would still write. He sits down and he writes. That's all there is to it. 

How to Steal This Habit 

  • Set Daily Goals- Establish a realistic word count for yourself for each day. You can make this number as large or small as you want as long it is realistic enough that you won't have to sit there for the entire day to achieve it. 
  • Create A Routine- The key to consistency is in repetition. You can write first thing in the morning or last thing before bed, whenever it is you choose to write make it non-negotiable. 

2. Read

You can't be a writer without being a reader and even Stephen King attributed much of his success to his love of reading and early horror movies. 

He also reads everywhere he goes from waiting rooms, the few minutes before the start of a movie, and "on the john," though I really don't recommend this one for hygienic reasons. 

How To Steal This Habit 

  • Read- Anything and everything as bad fiction can teach just as much as good fiction.
  • Pay Attention- While you don't have to open every book and keep a notebook nearby for notes on what does or doesn't work, it's good practice to keep these thoughts in the back of your mind for when you next sit down to write. 

3. Close The Door 

In his given writing advice King mentions the concept of a closed door in more ways than one. 

When it's time to write, close the door, seal yourself off from distractions, and focus on the writing. 

On the other hand, when you are writing your first draft you are writing it for you alone, something just for yourself, when it's time to write though you need to open the door and edit with the audience in mind. 

How To Steal This Habit

  • First Draft Freedom- Write the first draft of your work without self-editing or worrying about what an audience might think of it, focus solely on getting your work down on paper. Keep the door closed.
  • Revise with Purpose- Open the door back up and revise your manuscript with the target audience in mind. 

Best of luck with your writing! 

With love, 

B. xo xo


*If you've liked what you read you can show your support by subscribing, pledging your support, or leaving me a tip that directly supports and aids me as a writer.

By joining Vocal+ you can earn more per read on every story you publish on Vocal.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This story was originally posted on Medium.

Help power my writing with a virtual coffee! Starting at just $1! Your support keeps my creativity brewing! ☕

Thank you for your support and happy writing!

Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | Threads | Youtube | Facebook | Twitch


About the Creator

Elise L. Blake

Elise is a full-time writing coach and novelist. She is a recent college graduate from Southern New Hampshire University where she earned her BA in Creative Writing.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (3)

Sign in to comment
  • Christy Munson4 days ago

    I had read about Stephen King's approach before and really enjoyed your distillation of the finer points. Definitely agree with the approach you've outlined to steal from the horror master. I've done most of these things this year (but I chose not to write on funeral days or on the john). I've always been prolific, but following Stephen King's approach since February of this year has turned my writing interest into an author's habit. And I love that. Again, great article!!!

  • Amanda Starks9 days ago

    Hey, Elise! I just wanted to let you know I featured you and this article in my story: https://vocal.media/writers/fantastical-vocal-favorites-vol-iv I also left you a little "vocal favorites bonus" on your co-fi page!! c: <3

  • Mark Graham23 days ago

    Good work. I totally agree with what you wrote and reading all kinds of books is a thing to do as a writer, and that is why my niche is reviewing them.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.