Choosing the artistic path in your life can be a very difficult decision. Some people know where they stand really early on and get started with a plan right away, while others tend to struggle a bit more with the fact that they want more than a 9-to-5 for themselves.
Deciding to become a writer, or a singer, or a painter, or anything else that involves bringing all these creative cells together is a scary process. You have to deal with the uncertainty of earning a steady income month after month. You have to come up with a way of materializing whatever is happening in your mind, your head, and your heart and transcribe it to the world. And we all know the world isn’t always the most comprehensive, kind, and encouraging place. Still, that’s where you choose to be because if you think about it, keeping all of these cells caged inside is much worse.
So, if you ever believed your piece of art was not good enough, or that you will never make it, or that others just do it better than you can, I found a fella that has been down this road before and somehow ended up making it to The Shining light at the end of the tunnel. Here are 15 quotes by Stephen King to cheer up the artist in you.
1. “Drive away and try to keep smiling. Get a little rock and roll on the radio and go toward all the life there is with all the courage you can find and all the belief you can muster. Be true, be brave, stand.”
2. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
3. “The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish them–words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within, not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
4. “Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
5. “When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “One word at a time,” and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that motherfucker from space without a telescope.”
6. “Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.”
7. “Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”
8. “And people who don’t dream, who don’t have any kind of imaginative life, they must… they must go nuts. I can’t imagine that.”
9. “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
10. “It always comes down to just two choices: Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
11. “We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living.”
12. “If a fear cannot be articulated, it can’t be conquered.”
13. “Love didn’t grow very well in a place where there was only fear.”
14. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. …this book…is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”
15. “At the worst of it I no longer wanted to drink and no longer wanted to be sober, either. I felt evicted from life. At the start of the road back I just tried to believe the people who said that things would get better if I gave them time to do so. And I never stopped writing. Some of the stuff that came out was tentative and flat, but at least it was there. I buried those unhappy, lackluster pages in the bottom drawer of my desk and got on to the next project. Little by little I found the beat again, and after that I found the joy again. I came back to my family with gratitude, and back to my work with relief – I came back to it the way folks come back to a summer cottage after a long winter, checking first to make sure nothing has been stolen or broken during the cold season. Nothing had been. It was still all there, still all whole. Once the pipes were thawed out and the electricity was turned back on, everything worked fine.”
This article was first published on Lifehack.