I recently took that online quiz “Who Do You Write Like?” I provided a sample of my own writing (a long blog post), clicked the “enter” button and waited to see Virginia Woolf, Michael Chabon or Dave Eggers flash onto the screen—my writer self is elitist. Instead I saw Stephen King. Yeah, that’s right, read it again: Stephen King.
I did not opt to “publish” my results to my twitter feed.
But then this week I was reading some of King’s columns for the magazine Entertainment Weekly. And I thought, “Wow. This is so readable and fun.”
Lately I’m trying to silence the me who only reads award-winning, slightly depressing novels, the lit professor me. While I can satisfy that self with reading material, my writer self just isn’t of that type or caliber. When I read my own writing I think, “Eh.” Honestly, I’d probably heckle my own writing if I weren’t the one writing it.
Back to Stephen King. Stephen King is what most authors aren’t—approachable AND pretty stinkin’ good. He mixes entertainment with content. People read Stephen King. Lots of people. And since he has such a large audience he has an enormous amount of influence.
I am NOT Stephen King—far from it. But I’d like to be a writer like him. Not in the writing about creepy stuff way, but definitely in the writing for the everyman kind of way. It’s not glamorous, but it’s probably the kind of writer I am. And I’m slowly realizing I don’t have the choice to be something else.