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rugcat
05-08-2009, 11:16 PM
We're all familiar with King's addiction struggles, but it looks like they were even worse than reported.

A frightening aspect is that he apparently not only wrote many of his books while totally wasted, but when he finally got clean, he immediately developed a crippling writers' block.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1178151/Stephen-Kings-Real-Horror-Story-How-novelists-addiction-drink-drugs-nearly-killed-him.html?ITO=1490

Now, the Daily Mail is a tabloid that leans toward the sensational and has been successfully sued for libel in the past, so maybe it should be taken with a grain of salt. But this article is based on a forthcoming book and does have a certain ring of truth.

TheRightEyedDeer
05-08-2009, 11:31 PM
Stephen King himself has written about his dark, drug & booze-fuelled years in "On Writing".

I've never seen published reports on this but I'll betcha that his wife, Tabitha, gave up her own writing so she could work on keeping Stephen alive.

Claudia Gray
05-08-2009, 11:48 PM
I'm thinking that, for Stephen King, "crippling writer's block" must have meant "only able to write 20 pages a day."

wannawrite
05-08-2009, 11:51 PM
Wow. And to think, I always envied him. Glad to hear he is doing so much better, can't wait to read his new work. Think he has one releasing soon, right?

Wayne K
05-08-2009, 11:54 PM
If I had his writers block I'd be rich.

CACTUSWENDY
05-09-2009, 12:35 AM
This might be one of those times when the old saying about 'walking in someone elses shoes' would fit.

In this day and age there might not be too many wives that would have stood by her man the way his did. My hat is off to her for that.

My hat is also off to him for breaking the yoke that had him bound. Kind of makes my little life pale next to it.

WTG King.

Wayne K
05-09-2009, 12:44 AM
I'll take this moment to mention the tolerant and understanding Mrs. K.

dgrintalis
05-09-2009, 01:13 AM
I've read about his struggles before. The one things that has always struck me is the way he speaks about her. They have a deep love for each other and I'm glad he was able to slay his demons.

Sometimes the demons are too big to fight alone.

Delhomeboy
05-09-2009, 04:31 AM
I think that's already been released...in fact I'm sure of it, considering I have it lol.

Little Earthquake
05-09-2009, 06:17 AM
I, too, thought King was pretty forthright about his addictions in On Writing. He said that he has no memory of writing one of his books (I can't remember which one) which makes him sad b/c he thinks it's a pretty darn good book and he WANTS to remember writing it.

bettielee
05-09-2009, 06:24 AM
I shan't read this drivel. I read what Stephen had to say about it, and that's enough for me.

JamieFord
05-09-2009, 06:28 AM
When you're thanking your coke dealer on your acknowledgments page...things have gotten out of hand.

Sounds like the most salacious part of the biography is in the press release, what else is there that he didn't cover in On Writing?

cindystubbs
05-09-2009, 08:14 AM
It was Cujo he couldn't remember. I feel that these things are normal, that sure we have hostility the point is we don't act on it, like we are one step removed from gorillas. Like right now my grand kids keep wanting Sponge Bob & I can't deliver. They think I carry him in my back pocket. I think Mr. King might be being just a little hard on himself. Like you feel you could kill somebody sometimes you are so angry, but that doesnt mean you are going to. We have primeval urges and parenthood when you live in poverty is a nightmare. You are required to make sacrifices no matter that you are so young and perhaps had not been treated so good when you were a kid yourself and the unfairness of it all is bitter.
I shudder to think, after reading Mr. King what a terrible childhood he must have had.
I think that what counts is what you DO. People who live these pampered and safe lives have no idea. Sure we have a streak of evil in us but the point is we do not act on it.
Cruelty once taught to you as a child is always with you, it is a sort of thing you know you can do. You can be taught that along with your ABC's. I think King has the right idea to write it out.

inkkognito
05-09-2009, 08:32 AM
I hate to say it, but I like the works he did when he was apparently whacked out of his mind on coke better than his later stuff. Then again, I also love the novellas in the Bachman Books. He hasn't written anything that has wowed me in a long time, but I read my "classic King" over and over (Firestarter, Dead Zone, Long Walk, Road Work, Shawshank, Christine et. al.).

Cybernaught
05-09-2009, 10:53 AM
At least he endured and didn't wind up dying of alcohol poisoning in the middle of the street like Poe, or pull a Hemmingway and blow his brains out. Kudos to King. The guy writes more in one day than I've ever written in my entire life. I wonder if his severe writer's block was only being able to produce one novel a week.

Though he was nineteen when he wrote The Gunslinger, and I'm fairly certain he was sober then. And look at that masterpiece.

DavidZahir
05-09-2009, 11:10 AM
Having read On Writing my own belief was that I had something of a handle on what King had been through. According to this article, it seems it was only the tip of an iceberg. I am impressed he emerged from his own personal chamber of horrors. Further proof methinks that other people are all we know of heaven (or hell), in this case a brave and powerful woman named Tabitha King.

My own writing has nearly always depended upon some kind of support system. Seems the same can be said of Stephen King.

S.C. Denton
05-09-2009, 12:06 PM
I think many writers struggle with addictions like Kings. The drugs give them a way of delving into the hypnogogic state whilst still being fully awake. They help them to more easily indulge in their created world of fantasy. Or at least they have a strong belief that they help, thereby causing a self induced reality sort of like the placebo effect.

True faith, even in something beyond potentially harmful can be powerful medicine. And many writers would swallow it gladly if it meant it would put them that much closer to publication.





To write is human, to edit is divine--Stephen King: ON WRITING

SPMiller
05-09-2009, 12:47 PM
Yet another example of how important it is to not mix drug intake of any sort with your writing routine.

Delhomeboy
05-09-2009, 04:48 PM
I hate to say it, but I like the works he did when he was apparently whacked out of his mind on coke better than his later stuff. Then again, I also love the novellas in the Bachman Books. He hasn't written anything that has wowed me in a long time, but I read my "classic King" over and over (Firestarter, Dead Zone, Long Walk, Road Work, Shawshank, Christine et. al.).

I thought Lisey's Story was really, really good. It's the only one of his works from mid-90's on that I've read more than once.

seun
05-09-2009, 05:12 PM
I thought Lisey's Story was really, really good. It's the only one of his works from mid-90's on that I've read more than once.

Lisey's Story seems to split his readers right down the middle. I thought it was a horrible pile of poo but different strokes and so forth.

As for the article, I read it a couple of days ago. As has been pointed out, there's nothing in it that King hasn't already written about. But then what else to expect from the Mail?

Siddow
05-09-2009, 05:23 PM
Crazy thought: wouldn't it be something if the reason he couldn't remember writing those books was because...Tabitha did, and published them under his name because his was the money-making name?

lol. I haven't read any of Mrs. King's books, so I have no idea of her style.

wannawrite
05-09-2009, 06:02 PM
Tabitha INSTEAD Stephen? I've heard that proposed, before, and as Rhett famously said, frankly, my dear...

The work is out there. I love it, some more than others. Whether written by her...or him...or a chained monkey that they keep in the basement, I don't care. Just so long as he/she keeps right on feeding us the fodder, I'm fine with it.

Oh, and they should probably throw the monkey a banana or two.

PortableHal
05-10-2009, 06:35 AM
Tabitha's work is a little flat for me. Stephen's stuff sings. I don't think for a minute that she wrote his words.

CoriSCapnSkip
05-10-2009, 02:32 PM
True faith, even in something beyond potentially harmful can be powerful medicine. And many writers would swallow it gladly if it meant it would put them that much closer to publication.

Well, heeeellllllllllooooooooo, look how many people dropped acid hoping to be creative like the Beatles. Truth is, someone with that level of talent can draw drama from the phone book, while anyone else ends up at best drugged-out and at worst maimed for life or dead.

Delhomeboy
05-10-2009, 10:27 PM
Lisey's Story seems to split his readers right down the middle. I thought it was a horrible pile of poo but different strokes and so forth.


:Wha:

S.C. Denton
05-10-2009, 10:48 PM
Well BOOL on you:) I liked Lisey's Story alot myself. Seems to me that there might've been some realistic aspects of Stephen's life in the work. Whether that's just me making an insinuation that didn't really exist or an actual fact I don't remember, but the nature of the MCs relationship with his wife was what I thought might possibly contain a grain of truth.

EFCollins
05-10-2009, 11:06 PM
Personally, I'd take King's own words as truth, rather than the utter nonsense of a British Tabloid. I'm an addict too, and the thing about it is, if he had problems, he had them. He's admitted to them himself. Drugs, alcohol... these things are no different for Stephen King as they were for me. I'd wake up not knowing how I spent the last several days. Simply because he has fame and a fortune most people envy doesn't make him impervious to the effects of drugs and alcohol. Frankly, it surprises me that so many people speculate about it when EVERY alcoholic wakes up in a puddle of puke at some point, every coke head wakes up with a bloody nose. The only reason it's so shocking when it comes to Mr. King is because people expect him to be different. WHY they expect it is beyond me. He's only a man who has lived a life. When I hear terms like "tortured genius" it makes me want to puke. Alcoholism and drug addictions are not things to take lightly, but people are surprised by this. This is, sadly, not unlike any other life in which drugs and alcohol are present. The expectations are what makes it different.

benbradley
05-11-2009, 01:18 AM
We're all familiar with King's addiction struggles, but it looks like they were even worse than reported.

A frightening aspect is that he apparently not only wrote many of his books while totally wasted, but when he finally got clean, he immediately developed a crippling writers' block.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1178151/Stephen-Kings-Real-Horror-Story-How-novelists-addiction-drink-drugs-nearly-killed-him.html?ITO=1490

Now, the Daily Mail is a tabloid that leans toward the sensational and has been successfully sued for libel in the past, so maybe it should be taken with a grain of salt. But this article is based on a forthcoming book and does have a certain ring of truth.
I heard of a study in the late '70's of college students that if you're drinking (or toking, or whatever) while studying, you'll do better on a test of the material if you're also a bit buzzed. Of course, you won't do as well in either case as if you're sober both when studying and while taking the test.

That in itself could possibly explain writer's block (he learned much about writing while drinking), but I suspect there's more to it. All the repetition of the "powerless" meme (along with other "ego deflation" techniques) in A&D treatment/recovery can really beat one down (don't ask how I know, or if you must, kick my butt for me to write my own memoir).

Yet another example of how important it is to not mix drug intake of any sort with your writing routine.
IMHO anyone who does anything involving thinking (writing fiction certainly does, as do most other things people do) can best do it without the use of mind-altering substances altogether. (Video of James Randi I've posted before (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acfHRGxwV_E))
On the other hand, there are admittedly many successful writers who drank and/or drugged to excess. Such chemically-induced mind-altering experiences can certainly provide inspiration for writing, but one has to wonder about the cost to the writer.

Siddow
05-11-2009, 01:25 AM
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/state-dependent+learning

It's true. I can kick your butt at pool when drunk, but stick a cue in my hands sober, and I'm lucky to sink a single ball.

Never was interested enough in it to re-learn sober, lol.

Plot Device
05-11-2009, 05:27 AM
After The Shawshenk Redempotion and The Green Mile, I have to ask: Did he spend time either in jail or in a rehab facility? ... or two?? ... or five??

I recall reading in On Writing his account of Tabitha orchestrating a classic intervention, including her agrilly dumping out a trash can onto the floor --in front of him and everyone there at the intervention-- full of his dozens of bloody coke spoons and empty booze bottles. And so he agreed to go to rehab.




And then along comes Shawshenk and Green Mile.





Was he in more than one facility? And why did those two stories lean so heavilly toward actual prisons as opposed to hospitals?

Yes--he confessed in On Writing that he had a huge problem, and explained in painfully graphic detail about how it impacted his family. But I do not recall his revealing WHERE he did his rehab.





.

Little Earthquake
05-11-2009, 05:52 AM
(don't ask how I know, or if you must, kick my butt for me to write my own memoir)

*kick*

*kick*

*kick kick kick*

Manix
05-11-2009, 06:58 AM
I think it was someone here on AW who said not to develop any kind of habit whilst writing--whether it's eating while typing, drinking or smoking, etc, because your brain comes to associate the addictive behavior with the creative process. Then, in order to "get in the zone," so to speak, you'll have to take up the habit again. If you decide to quit, your creativity becomes paralyzed, ergo, writer's block. I never really considered that before I heard that here, but it makes sense.

S.C. Denton
05-13-2009, 01:34 PM
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/state-dependent+learning

It's true. I can kick your butt at pool when drunk, but stick a cue in my hands sober, and I'm lucky to sink a single ball.

Never was interested enough in it to re-learn sober, lol.


Man, I thought I was the only one who had this problem. I actually spent a year shooting pool at least three times a week sober, just to try and unlearn my association, but was never successful.

No matter how much I practiced, when it came time to shoot for real (sober) I may as well've been blindfolded. I'd likely hit in more balls that way. Lol.

alleycat
05-13-2009, 01:48 PM
Yes--he confessed in On Writing that he had a huge problem, and explained in painfully graphic detail about how it impacted his family. But I do not recall his revealing WHERE he did his rehab.
.
I've read somewhere that it was a place called Brookside in NH but I don't have any solid information on that.

TheRightEyedDeer
05-13-2009, 11:36 PM
What it's like to be an addict (http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20036809,00.html)