Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

“They don’t understand what we do, do they?”

with 3 comments

J.K. Rowling and Stephen King

[J.K. Rowling and I] did a charity event at Radio City Music Hall a few years back. She was working on the last of the Harry Potter books. Her publicist and her editor called her over, and they talked for about ten minutes. And when she came back to me, she was steaming. Fucking furious. And she said, “They don’t understand what we do, do they? They don’t fucking understand what we do.” And I said, “No, they don’t. None of them do.” And that’s what my life is like right now….

When someone says, “What are you working on?” I’ll say, “I’ve got this wonderful story about these two families on two sides of a lake that end up having this arms race with fireworks,” but I’m doing this event, and then I’ve got the political ad and all this other crap. So you have to be stern about it and say, “I’m not going to do this other stuff, because you’ve got to make room for me to write.” Nobody really understands what the job is. They want the books, but they don’t, in a way, take it seriously.

Stephen King, to Rolling Stone

Written by nevalalee

November 8, 2015 at 7:30 am

3 Responses

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  1. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King…together…in one place??? My paradise. Why didn’t I know about this and where was I? The lamenting aside, the point they are making is so valid. There are so many obstacles to producing work that it is difficult to get any of it actually accomplished. Social media has added multiple layers of work and endless hours of required investment while I wonder if my time would be better spent just writing alone in a closet. Love this piece. Thank you for sharing it.


    November 8, 2015 at 4:21 pm

  2. check me out

    Julia MacKenzie

    November 8, 2015 at 8:13 pm

  3. @reneejohnsonwrites: I’m convinced that social media is only worth pursuing if you enjoy it in its own right. Seeing it as a form of marketing—which is how so many writers approach it—is usually a mistake.


    November 22, 2015 at 7:55 pm

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