I wonder about Stephen King. Who writes 10 pages every day. Who is both popular and intelligent. Who is looked up to and looked down upon. Who is both a dork and a confident guy. Who has written hundreds of books. Hundreds. Well I don’t know if that last part is true. I just made that up. I do know that the first book he wrote, Carrie, he threw in the trash, and that his wife picked it out and made him finish. I know that he was raised by a single mother. And that he wrote the stories that were turned into two of my favorite movies: Stand By Me, and The Shining. I know that he takes a walk every day and that he has struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction. I’ve read that he is afraid of the dark and spiders and other people. And I assume that to be true. I wonder if he gets stuck once a day or once a week or even more than that.
There are other writers I love who seem more magical and glamorous, more poetic: John Steinbeck, Zadie Smith, Flannery O’Conner, Charles Bukowski, but Steven is the one I think of most. If he was at a party with all those other writers, he’s the one I’d feel most comfortable walking up to. He’s the guy who sits down at his desk in Maine, and sometimes Florida, every day, even when he’s sick, even on Christmas, and doesn’t get up until he’s finished.