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What is Bad Writing? 3 Successful Writers Stephen King Can’t Stand

What is Bad Writing? 3 Successful Writers Stephen King Can’t Stand

We all have our own list of favorite authors. Some we have decided to keep a secret because we’re afraid of the judgment we’ll face if we say their names out loud. While your friends are making fun of people who read romance novels or light summer reads, you want to raise your hand and say, “HEY! That’s me! I read those! At least I’m reading, you jerks!” And that’s just it—at least you are reading.

In a world where we see people too busy looking down at their phones to check out their latest social feed, you’re sitting outside on your lunch break enjoying a new book. But it’s not only “cultured” readers who look forward to roasting an author they deem as insipid or impuissant. There are other prominent writers out there who have no qualms discussing the literary failings of their peers.

All Hail the King!

Stephen King is one such author who holds nothing back. A New York Times bestselling novelist, King made a name for himself with his novels Carrie, IT, and The Shining. Widely known for his work in the fantasy and horror genres, King has published 55 novels to date and won a vast number of awards for his work.

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Despite winning literary awards and having a large number of works published, does that give King the right to degrade another author’s writing? Stephen King fans are inclined to agree; he’s earned the right.” Others that think King’s writing is overwrought will decidedly answer “No, he’s a talentless hack himself.”

There are three popular-selling authors whom King has had less than complimentary remarks for, including Dean Koontz, Stephenie Meyer and James Patterson. King himself has said, “talent is cheaper than table salt. What separated the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” So what is it about the three aforementioned authors that King finds to be abhorrent?

Dean Koontz

With 14 New York Times bestsellers under his belt, it’s hard to argue against Koontz’s writing merit. Having won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition when he was only a senior in college, Koontz has gained notoriety through the years for his storytelling in the horror, thriller and suspense genres.

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Yet despite the acclaim he has received and the hundreds of millions of books he has sold, Stephen King does not count himself among Koontz fans. In an interview with USA Weekend back in 2009, King said that Koontz’s writing is “sometimes … just awful.” But why is it awful? Could it be because they write in the same genres, and are therefore in competition with each other? Who can tell.

Stephenie Meyer

Whether you’re a Stephenie Meyer fan or not, we can all agree that her work has been commercially successful. Twilight was rated as the New York Times Editor’s Choice and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

Selling more than 250 million copies, Meyer’s Twilight series about an angst 70-something vampire in love with a teenage mortal he met in a high-school science class literally captured the minds of millions. Turned into a successful film franchise not long thereafter, Twilight has cemented itself in contemporary vampire lore.

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For Stephen King however, Stephenie Meyer is not to be saluted for her writing prowess. Of Stephenie Meyer King said, “[Meyer] can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” He further compares Meyer’s work with JK Rowling to help prove his point. Though both Meyer and Rowling write fantasy, is it fair to compare the two when they do not write about the same subject matter?

James Patterson

James Patterson’s books have sold over 350 million copies worldwide and Patterson is the current Guinness World Record holder for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. Having written novels for all age groups in various genres, Patterson has continued to challenge himself and his readers. King doesn’t see it this way.

Speaking about James Patterson, King was quoted as saying, “[Patterson is] a terrible writer [who is] very, very successful.” If you were to define writing prowess based on the number of sales, King would tell you that it means nothing. Does it matter that Patterson has sold millions of copies of his books? No. But it has to mean something, doesn’t it? If people didn’t like his writing style or storytelling devices, he wouldn’t be so successful, would he?

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Now here’s really something to think about: if the writing of these three authors is so terrible, how is it they sell so many books? How is it they have all appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list? Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but you need some kind of proof to back up an argument.

Featured photo credit: VFS Digital Design via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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