Notebook, Stephen King On Writing

My goal here at Cask & Quill is to help you immerse yourself in a literary life. To me, that means surrounding yourself with books and everything that goes along with them on a daily basis. This site is for writers and readers who want to cram MORE literature into their days beyond reading often. It’s for those who want to enrich their whole lives with the magic we find in books.


We talk a whole lot about reading here, but there would be no reading without writing. I know there are a great many of us who don’t get around to writing as much as we wish we did. Or maybe we just never get around to trying it. Life gets in the way, but what if we could make writing PART of life?


Writing Wednesdays

I am very excited to announce that a new weekly feature here on Cask & Quill will be Writing Wednesdays! I hope you will join me as we discuss, bemoan, try, learn and appreciate writing. Any level of experience is more than welcome. Whether you’ve been writing consistently for years or have just started to wonder about writing, come on in. We’ll be trying out writing prompts, sharing our experiences and helping to inspire and encourage each other.


Even if you’ve never fancied yourself a writer or you’ve never picked up a pen with the thought of creating something for its own sake, I welcome you to give it a try now. This is a judgment free zone!


How is this going to work? I imagine we’ll be discovering that as we go, but I would like to share a prompt, writing exercise or idea that we can all try. Feel free to write it directly in the comment section of that week’s post. If you’re not ready to share what you’ve written, that’s okay! Just leave a comment letting us know you tried it and what you learned. If you like, share your piece with a photo on Instagram using #QuillClub and please feel free to tag me @caskandquill.


Today’s Prompt

Our first writing prompt is this: Take ten minutes, set a timer if you need to, and start writing about the quality of the light wherever you are.


Inside or outside. Doesn’t matter. Just go for it. Follow wherever this topic takes you. Just keep writing. Don’t stop to reread what you’ve got so far. Don’t cross anything out. Pretend your backspace button doesn’t exist. Spel evrything wrongg. Don’t pause to think what to say next, just start out with something like, “The light in/out here is…” and don’t stop writing or typing until the ten minutes are up.


Everyone has ten minutes to spare today! If not today, sometime this week. Take ten minutes of your lunch break and write about the blinding fluorescent lights in your office. Ten minutes before you go to bed write about the light at your bedside table illuminating a corner of the room. What does it make you think of? What can you compare the light to? You might start with the light and at the end of ten minutes find yourself talking about your dad’s famous pancakes. Just give it a try! It doesn’t have to be good. Don’t edit it. Don’t make it into something you think is incredible. This is practice! There is no wrong way to do this. If it’s awful, who cares? You’re getting the bad ideas out! Share it in the comments below when you’re done.


Now, ready? GO.




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15 thoughts on “Introducing: Writing Wednesdays on Cask & Quill”

  1. Here is what my 10 minutes yielded:

    The light in here is always too damn bright. I hate it. It scalds my eyes. It makes me squint as though I’m outside. It gives me headaches. I even got special glasses to dull it. Make it more yellow. More palatable for my eyes. Its fluorescence is awful to me. I have always preferred softer, yellower light. It’s soothing. It smooths out imperfections. It’s inviting, cozy. Welcoming. Bright white light is harsh, stark. There’s nowhere to hide when a fluorescent light is shinning on you. You can see it all. Maybe I want things to remain more of a mystery. Maybe I want to remain a mystery myself. Maybe I’m afraid to see the imperfections. Maybe I’m afraid to let others see mine. Maybe it just hurts my fucking eyes with its relentless barbarity. Can people really prefer this lighting? How do they keep the headaches away? Do they get them or not? Do they feel they have nothing to hide? Maybe the people who like fluorescent light are more confident than I am. Maybe they can see better that way. Maybe mood lighting is a ridiculous idea to them. Maybe the brightness is more intimate to them. Maybe they’re right. Maybe seeing imperfections brings you closer, faster. Maybe it’s better to see it all. To be blinded by the light, as they say. Maybe my headaches have got it all wrong.

  2. I didn’t edit ths very efficiently, but here goes:

    My room consists of huge windows. Two of them, both at least five feet long. Everyday from 1 pm until sunset, sunshine decides to pay my room a visit. Sometimes I block it out with curtains and sometimes I welcome it with open arms.

    I’ve always hated afternoons, there’s something about the midday overhead sun that keeps me in utter discomfort. These sunlight visits, however, somehow cause for that to not happen.

    The sun is everywhere but nowhere. It touches the right spots in my room and somehow seems to repel around me as if careful not the burn me with its warmth. It touches the curtains, kisses my study desk and paints stripes on my walls. It’s beautiful. It’s so comforting, it’s almost like the sun is a friend of mine who visits me every afternoon to chat. To have the kind of conversations you usually have with your most beloved ones at 2 am in the morning. The warm, lazy, conversations where you do nothing but everything, where you don’t have to stress or worry or think because in that moment you just have to be.
    Sometimes I sing to the sun whilst playing an instrument, sometimes I read to it, sometimes sunshine helps me with my photographs, and sometimes I just dream with it. I dream of colourful tendrils of smoke and a tapestry of stars and rainbows. I dream of wings taking me high up in the clouds but my feet planted on the ground. I dream of a world of smiles and dimples and pure, surreal beauty.

    Sometimes I don’t notice. I am so busy delving into my irrationality that I don’t notice the sun’s visit. I don’t notice it speaking to me, I don’t notice it encouraging me to hope and not cry over everything I am not. I don’t notice it screaming at me when I am too busy screaming at myself. I don’t notice it pulling me away from myself because I have become my own worst enemy. I don’t notice it when I am too lost, lost in my own fear and silence as it watches me with pity and concern. Before I know it, it’s 6 pm and the sun has to go.

    Sunsets are sad. Especially when I watch them from my window.

    1. Vidhi, thanks so much for sharing! And don’t worry too much about editing. This is just practice to get us to set some time aside to be creative and push deeper into our writing. Just throw yourself out onto the page and see what happens. Great! Thanks again. I hope you join me again for next week’s. 🙂


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