King’s On Writing: Writing Is Work

Stephen King knows how hard it is to be a professional writer. I’m sure some of you also relate because you are published or at least have stayed up until 3 a.m. to write a good paper that was due next morning. And it wasn’t easy either.

In sections 19-24, King discusses his earliest work – think editor of The Village Vomit, not Carrie. As he talks about his first jobs, stories, and articles, there’s an important message here: Writing is hard work. It takes dedication, persistence, and passion. In order to succeed, you need these things and support from those around you.

Here are some other highlights:

  • After The Village Vomit debacle, King’s school guidance counselor hooked him up with a paying writing job as a sports writer. While reading, I remembered guidance counselors. What happened to them? I had one in high school who I spoke to once when I was in trouble, and she didn’t guide me to do anything. Do they actually do anything now? King’s counselor did exactly what he was supposed to do; he kept him from causing more trouble and fueled his creativity. He got him a job, encouraged King’s passion, and provided guidance. Other than family, this may have been King’s earliest support system.
  • Do you have an editor? If so, you’ve had your writing ripped to shreds. It’s what we do when we have to. Every professional writer has an editor who makes them a better writer. Journalism and English majors can tell who the exact professor was. And as a writer, you take it. I’ve been in both places, and they’re both hard. The best thing to do is learn from it and not take it personally. It’s not personal, it’s the process. If you don’t want an editor, then start a blog, but if you write professionally, remember to handle criticism well and hone your skills.
  • You may have to work a day job or crap job. King’s first real-paying job was dyeing cloth at a mill. His schedule was long and tedious, and anyone who has had to work while going to school gets it. It’s hard work, but it makes you strong and you appreciate the good jobs that come your way. I could relate most to this because I worked full time, went to college full time, and had a family to support. Looking back, I have no idea how I did it, and I hope I never have to be that exhausted again. However, it was worth every minute. I’ve learned so much, and a good work ethic isn’t something you can buy – it’s a natural ability.
  • And it’s that natural work ethic the drew King to his long-time wife Tabitha (aside from her gorgeous legs and “raucous laugh”). This is where the support system comes in. Every artist, whether a writer, painter, musician, designer, needs support. They need to be loved and have someone to love. Sometimes you need a push, and only that person can provide it. For example, many King fans know Tabitha rescued pages from Carrie from the trash and pushed him to finish it. Every artist needs someone to believe in their work.

We’d love to hear about your writing experiences, including those naggy editors and good guidance counselors, in the comments below!

A Tribute to Good Coworkers

Inspiration comes in many forms, and this week it came to me in the shape of the men and women I work with. About midweek, I was chatting with a coworker about a personal concern, and she offered to help. I accepted and thought how awesome she was for caring and offering help.

This made me think about my current and past coworkers. I have been lucky to have worked and still work with some of the best people I know. I’ve had two main jobs, totaling 18 years of work experience, and still stay in touch with people I worked with 15 years ago. In my current job, I have a dozen or so I would want to stay in touch with if any of us changed jobs or moved.

But what makes memorable and good coworkers? Aside from who they are and how our differences and similarities bond us, here’s a list of things to do to make the workplace better and build good coworking relationships:

Listen. People love to talk about themselves. We do it all the time at RevPub! Therefore, you should listen to them. Most times, if people think you actually care about what they’re saying, they’ll open up. Now, if you don’t want them to, that’s okay too. In that case, don’t expect them to want to know you if you don’t want the same. No one gets along with everyone.

A cupcake a coworker made for my birthday. She knows I love frogs!

A cupcake a coworker made for my birthday. She knows I love frogs!

Work hard. Thankfully, I can say everyone I work with works hard – all the time. That has not always been the case. At the store, if a cashier or stocker was lazy, they didn’t last long. Either they quit because they had to work harder or they got fired because everyone had to pull their weight. Other people resented them, morale dropped, and it caused problems for management.

Laugh. I love when my coworkers laugh, especially if it has been a long day. It makes me smile even if I don’t know what they’re laughing about. Sometimes they share, sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t matter because laughter breaks up the monotony of the day. Laughter helps reduce stress, and if you laugh hard enough, can be a great ab workout.

This was for a mustache collage for someone. It turned out well!

This was for a mustache collage for someone. It turned out well!

Share. I recently received a fun email about cold offices and what cold-natured people go through in order to work in them. It was SO true, so I sent it to my fellow freezers. Sure, there’s Facebook and Twitter, but most of us don’t have time to stay on those sites. Therefore, when there’s a funny article or awesome success story, we share it. Many times this causes No. 3, and we get through the day better off than we were before.

Try not to gossip. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but keep it to a minimum. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, it probably doesn’t need to be said. Also, if a coworker confides in you, keep it to yourself unless given permission to share. And always ask for permission. I am very thankful I have always had coworkers I could confide in, and they have helped me through some tough times, such as family and pet passings and school stress.

I know many of my coworkers will read this because they are big supporters of the site. I want them to know how much I appreciate their support and hard work. And to all those people who try to be coworkers, thank you for making all workplaces better places. If you have some great coworker stories, feel free to share in the comments below!

Artist Spotlight: Brad Trombley

artist banner

Hobbies are a great way to relax, escape from the world, and show your creative ability. They can be lots of fun and a special way to show someone you care when you make them a one-of-a-kind gift. This month, we’re featuring an artist who includes art as a hobby. Not only that, but he also has an ecommerce business, which could be considered a hobby as well — a hobby that pays! We want to thank him for his time, and feel free to share some art love in the comments below!

RevPub: What are the things you make/create?

So far, I enjoy making paintings using wood. I love being able to cut the wood in any shape and then painting the details on it. I’ve also done Perler Beads, but these are less works of art and more of following patterns.


RevPub: What do you enjoy about having art as a hobby, and do you ever sell your stuff?

I love having art as a hobby because it takes my full concentration. If I’m thinking about something else or stressing about something, my complete focus is on my works of art. I’ve never sold the stuff I’ve made for me, but I have sold stuff requested by other people.

RevPub: How do you get the ideas for your art?

Usually I get my ideas for wood by seeing a really cool picture and thinking, “Oh hey, this would look really cool in different layers of wood.”

RevPub: What’s your favorite thing you’ve built/created/painted and why?

My favorite thing I’ve created would either be a Playstation door knocker that I have hanging outside my room or my Majora’s Mask painting.

RevPub: What do you sell in your ecommerce business?

I mainly sell books, but I’m starting to learn more about VHS, DVDs, and CDs.

RevPub: Would you recommend others sell things on eBay/Amazon?

If you don’t plan on doing it as a main job, I would recommend selling on eBay for most people. It’s easier to learn, there aren’t nearly as much fees as Amazon, and the auction system for eBay is amazing if you don’t know how much you should charge people for something.

RevPub: What’s the coolest thing you’ve sold?

I don’t really have a coolest thing I sold. Most of the books are the same. I did find a book on How to Train Your Miniature Donkey that sold for about $40, which was pretty great.

(Photos courtesy of Brad Trombley)