How the father of horror came to be.
The very first time I was introduced to Stephen King was through the film adaptation of his novel, Misery. Most find it surprising I didn’t see or read his first novel, Carrie beforehand. Nonetheless, I was instantly captivated by King’s ability to curate suspense and horror.
Misery scared me to death at the time, as many other of King’s novels and films would do later on in life.
One thing about him is his ability to write complex storylines that are simplistic is undeniable, and the list of the best Stephen King quotes below prove just that.
You can’t help but wonder what goes through this guy’s mind and how he could come up with such horrific ideas. King keeps the reader so engaged to the point that you’re fearful to turn the next page but won’t dare put the novel down.
Stephen King is one of the most well known American authors in his genre. He has written countless suspense and horror fiction novels that have catapulted him to a household name.
Stephen King novels are so successful that many of his stories have been adapted to films and television series. His latest adaptation will be The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
Before all of this success, can you believe that King almost never became a writer? When writing Carrie, King gave up on the idea and threw the manuscript away. If it was not for his wife, Tabby King, saving the manuscript and encouraging him to write, he wouldn’t be the best selling author he is today. King probably would have still been an English teacher.
Tabby King believed in her husband when he didn’t believe in himself.
Stephen King was willing to give up on his story because he was not yet aware of his genius and he didn’t think his work was good enough at the time. In that sense, we can all relate — sometimes we doubt our talents and abilities to the point where we do not allow ourselves to finish what we started.
One thing you can learn from Stephen King’s story is to surround yourself with people who support you and once you succeed keep going. He did not just write one bestseller, he continued to do so throughout his career and writes to this day. His passion and dedication for writing keep him going, even at the age of seventy-two.
When you love what you do, getting paid for it is just a bonus. Take a look below at our collection of the best Stephen King quotes to inspire you, scare you and even make you laugh.
1. The only thing that matters is how you handle the obstacles of life, not what you go through.
“It ain’t the blows we’re dealt that matter, but the ones we survive.”
2. Hope frees you.
“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.”
3. Ask God to bless you with what you lack.
“God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the tenacity to change what I may, and the good luck not to up too often.”
4. Those who don’t know you are often the most honest, because they don’t have any expectations to uphold.
“Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.”
5. All books teach you something.
“Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.”
6. Learn from your past experiences.
“A person who doesn’t learn from the past is an idiot, in my estimation.”
7. Be faithful to your work.
“You have to stay faithful to what you’re working on.”
8. To be a writer you must read and write.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
9. Change is constant.
“Life turns on a dime.”
10. Hope is dangerous.
“Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”
11. Work that you love never feels like work.
“I’m still in love with what I do, with the idea of making things up, so hours when I write always feel like very blessed hours to me.”
12. Writing is about enrichment.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.”
13. Getting anger is never beneficial.
“Anger is the most useless emotion, destructive to the mind, and hurtful to the heart.”
14. The idea of perfection is man-made.
“Nothing in nature is that even; man is the inventor of straight edges.”
15. Pain is a part of life.
“We are going to fight. We are going to be hurt. And in the end, we will stand.”
16. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
“There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.”
17. The little things are important.
“Sometimes the embers are better than the campfire.”
18. Awareness is what allows you to conquer fear.
“If a fear cannot be articulated, it can’t be conquered.”
19. Pain inspires art.
“Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones, you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story of every scar. Art consists of the persistence of memory.”
20. Time takes everything.
“Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not. Time takes it all, bears it away, and in the end, there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again.”
21. You need more than talent to be successful.
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
22. Leave the past in the past.
“It’s funny how close the past is, sometimes. Sometimes it seems as if you could almost reach out and touch it. Only who really wants to?”
23. Do what you love and don’t focus on money.
“Like anything else that happens on its own, the act of writing is beyond currency. Money is great stuff to have, but when it comes to the act of creation, the best thing is not to think of money too much. It constipates the whole process.”
24. History is scar tissue.
The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.”
25. There’s importance in those things that are hard to say.
“The most important things are the hardest things to say.”
26. Different phases in our lives have different meanings.
“If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.”
27. We all have periods of self-doubt.
“I had a period where I thought I might not be good enough to publish.”
28. Books and movies are not equivalent.
“Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.”
29. Greatness takes time.
“No great thing is created suddenly.”
30. Starting is the hardest part.
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
31. Your mindset determines your perspective.
“All places are the same unless your mind changes. There’s no magic place to get your mind right. If you feel like —, everything you see looks like —. I know that.”
32. Positivity is always the answer.
“Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”
33. You have to work to get inspiration.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
34. Creativity isn’t meant to be caged.
“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild.”
35. Being good is good enough.
“It took me twenty years of living with my father to accept the idea that being good could be good enough.”
36. Keep going, don’t give up.
“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel sh*t from a sitting position.”
37. Your trust can be used to manipulate you.
“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.”
38. Take courage and be brave.
“Get a little rock and roll on the radio and go toward all the life there is with all the courage you can and all the belief you can muster. Be true, be brave, stand.”
39. We decide how we view our scars.
“A lot of us grow up and we grow out of the literal interpretation that we get when we’re children, but we bear the scars all our life. Whether they’re scars of beauty or scars of ugliness, it’s pretty much in the eye of the beholder.”
40. Your passion opens doors you can’t even imagine.
“What I didn’t realize was how many doors the act of writing unlocks as if my Dad’s old fountain pen wasn’t really a pen at all, but some strange variety of skeleton key.”
41. It takes bravery to start.
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
42. Don’t fill a space, add purpose to it.
“You need to take out the stuff that’s just sitting there and doing nothing. No slackers allowed! All meat, no filler!”
43. You always have influence even if you’re unaware of it.
“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.”
44. We all have mental health struggles from time to time.
“I think that we’re all mentally ill. Those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better — and maybe not all that much better after all.”
45. Darkness is what makes us appreciate light so much.
“It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.”
46. Allow yourself to laugh.
“You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.”
47. Choose what you want to be busy doing.
“Get busy living or get busy dying.”
48. Sociology proves our sinful nature.
“Shall I tell you what sociology teaches us about the human race? I’ll give it to you in a nutshell. Show me a man or woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call “society”. Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.”
49. Uncovering your passion for reading is exhilarating.
“For readers, one of life’s most electrifying discoveries is that they are readers — not just capable of doing it, but in love with it. Hopelessly. Head over heels.”
50. Always acknowledge the help of others.
“Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.”
51. Witty people are attractive.
“I like a woman who will laugh when you don’t have to point her right at the joke, you know”
52. Life is filled with unforgettable moments.
“Some things you never forgot.”
53. You function best with sleep.
“The exhausted mind is obsession’s easiest prey.”
54. Sleep is one of the treasures of life.
“Of all the things which make up our Short-Time lives, sleep is surely the best.”
55. Bravery is beautiful.
“Isn’t bravery always sort of beautiful?”
56. Spend time with the ones you love.
“You’re good for the ones you love. You want to be good for the ones you love, because you know that your time with them will end up being too short, no matter how long it is.”
57. You only miss the mark when you stop trying.
“The only mortal sin is giving up.”
58. Misery loves company.
“Whoever said misery loves company was full of sh*t. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, however… that guy was onto something.”
59. Read a variety of works.
“You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so.”
60. Make the story the boss.
“I’m not much of a believer in the so-called character story; I think that in the end, the story should always be the boss.”
61. Good news is always needed.
“There is no bad time for good news.”
62. We are all weirdos.
“ Everybody’s weird.”
63. Books are the best form of entertainment.
“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots on life.”
64. Don’t allow fear to rule your life.
“The terror ran endlessly on in his mind, making him feel like a rat trapped on an exercise wheel. And when he tried to look ahead to some better, brighter time, he could see only darkness.”
65. Don’t forget you can have the freedom to leave as you please.
“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”
66. Writers need to read.
“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
67. You always find your way back to where you started.
“Life is like a wheel. Sooner or later, it always comes around to where you started again.”
68. Good luck.
“Good luck, goodwill, good fortune, not ill.”
69. The opinion of critics doesn’t matter.
“I have outlived most of my critics. It gives me great pleasure.”
70. God gave you a story.
“It’s as if God gave you something — all those stories — and said, “Here you are. Try not to lose it.” But children lose everything unless somebody is there to help them, and if your parents are too stupid to do it, maybe I ought to.”
71. Celebrate after a long day’s work.
“I work until beer o’clock.”
72. It’s ok to be different because of your intelligence or wisdom.
“There had never been a shortage of fools in the world.”
73. You grow into your imagination.
“Children have to grow into their imaginations like a pair of oversized shoes.”
74. Money talks.
“Money talks, bullshit walks.”
75. Good books make you wait.
“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.”
76. Your one in a million and make sure you know it.
“I was one in a million. I wasn’t bright enough to realize the circus fat lady is, too.”
77. Find what you’re passionate about.
“One of the challenges when you’ve been around as long as I have and you think you’ve explored all the corners of the room, you have to say to yourself, ‘What are the things that really concern me? What are the things that I care about? Well, I care about the friendship. I care about a government that’s too big and that will try to do things where the ends justify the means. I care about defenseless people who try to find a way to defend themselves.”
78. Once you fall in love with reading there’s no going back.
“Once I fell in love with books, I fell in love completely.”
79. Horror stories are meant to help us cope with the harsh realities of life.
“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”
80. Dedication pages are meant to prove they aren’t self-centered.
“The reason authors almost always put a dedication on a book, Annie, is because their selfishness even horrifies themselves in the end.”
81. Love, hope, and pain live on.
“I’ll die. And you’ll die too, for when love leaves the world, hearts are still. Tell them of my love and tell them of my pain and tell them of my hope, which still lives. For this is all I have and all I am and all I ask.”
82. Your temper must be controlled.
“If you don’t control your temper, your temper will control you.”
83. The heart will always have its own desires.
“The mind can calculate, but the spirit yearns, and the heart wants what the heart wants.”
84. An opening line is like the reader’s invitation.
“An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
85. Humans are the fittest because we’re the craziest.
“What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends is that we came to rule the Earth not because we were the smartest or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle.”
86. Loud minds belong to quiet people.
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”
87. Don’t forget your memories have voices.
“Our memories have voices too.”
88. Those who buy books want to be fascinated.
“Book-buyers aren’t attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel; book-buyers want a good story to take with them on the airplane, something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages.”
89. You never forget your childhood toys.
“No one ever forgets a toy that made him or her supremely happy as a child, even if that toy is replaced by one like it that is much nicer.”
90. Fear means more than just being scared.
“FEAR stands for everything and run.”
91. Waiting rooms are meant for books.
“Waiting rooms were made for books—of course!”
92. Remember that famous and successful people are people too.
“People forget I’m a real person.”
93. Don’t show fear.
“It’s alright to feel fear, but sometimes a very bad idea to show it.”
94. Focus on words at a time when you write.
“When asked, how do you write? I invariably answer, one word at a time.”
95. Write from your soul.
“Be a writer of the soul.”
96. Don’t condemn others on anything other than the truth.
“You cannot condemn a man for what may only be a figment of your own imagination.”
97. Love what you do.
“I’m still in love with what I do, with the idea of making things up, so hours when I write always feel like very blessed hours to me.”
98. Heartbreak is extremely painful.
“Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.”
99. What matters most is that you’re still standing.
“The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there…and still on your feet.”
100. Happily ever after only exists in fairy tales.
“And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live.”