Stephen King’s Basement

Dover Castle, Kent

Stephen King talks about  inspiration:

There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust …He lives in the ground. He’s a basement guy. You have to descend to his level… You have to do all the grunt labor… while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you….[But] he’s got the inspiration…[He’s got] the bag of magic. There’s stuff in there that can change your life. Believe me. I know. ( Stephen King, On Writing, Scribner, 2000, p. 144,145)

Before I go to sleep, at night, I don’t talk to a cigar smoking guy in the basement. He’s not mine. He belongs to Stephen King.

I talk to the ladies.  Wearing sexy, black lace lingerie held together with red ribbons they listen to me. There are at least three of them and more in the background, and they look like they came out of a saloon on Gunsmoke. They have long, dark  curly hair pulled up into loose buns, with tendrils falling down, and wise eyes. Why are they ladies? Why do they look like that? Who knows. I tell them what I have to figure out for my story, and they  surprise me in the morning.

The power of the subconscious fascinates me. I’m trying to not analyze it. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter if I understand the creative process as long as it works.

My thoughts on craft for this Monday morning.

What’s in your basement?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

8 thoughts on “Stephen King’s Basement”

    1. I know what you mean. Every time I go back to his book I learn more. Another quote I like is, “…you must not come lightly to the blank page.” p. 106. What do you write and how do you go about the process?
      Best Wishes


  1. My muse isn’t cigar smoking and doesn’t look like she came out a saloon during Gunsmoke but it’s amazing what your subconscious mind can do overnight. Now the big thing for me is not to jump out of bed, head out the door and forget all about it. A minute to write a few cryptic notes to myself can make a major difference.



    1. I agree. The subconscious never stops.
      I like your image of cobwebs. Each strand in the web connects to another, strengthens the whole and creates a pattern. Cobwebs may sound messy, but they have an art of their own. I’m all for cobwebs.
      Best Wishes


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