In the introduction to his book, Skeleton Crew, Stephen King tells a story that I will never, ever forget.
Once upon a time, Stephen King had the pukes. He was laying in bed, alone, in a spare bedroom of his house in too much pain and misery to sleep. All he could do was stare at the ceiling. Then all of the sudden, a story came into his mind. As he pondered this story, he was able to calm down, relax, and eventually drift away into sleep.
Once he was better, he wrote this story and called it “Word Processor Of The Gods” and sold it to Playboy. It was then featured in one of their magazines.
Later on, a friend was over and asked him why he even bothered to write that story. “You hardly made any money from that. What’s the point of even doing it?”
This argument made King mad. His friend asked if there was more beer and he lied, saying “No” so he would leave.
King writes, “You don’t do it for the money; you do it because it saves you from feeling bad. A man or woman able to turn his or her back on that is just a monkey…. The story paid me by letting me get back to sleep when I felt like I couldn’t. I paid the story back by getting it concrete, which it wanted to be. The rest is just side effects.”
Whatever you do, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Live from the heart. I know all too well that it’s easy to get wrapped up in stupid stuff—the stuff that has no lasting value. It’s so easy to judge a thing and the things we do on a dumb, superficial scale… but the second you do that, the joy behind the thing disappears.
And at writing this, I literally said out loud to myself, “Ugh…” and then shook my head, thinking, *It’s so true…*
I decided a while ago that if I’m going to live, I’m going to make life meaningful. And this goal requires the constant reminder of what King taught in this intro. What we choose to do in life, we should do it because it makes us happy—because it saves us. Our time is as sand in an hour glass. At first it seems unending but it isn’t long before we realize each grain is numbered. Fall in love with what you’re doing. To do that is to fall in love with life. To do that, is to find happiness.
Artwork by Robert Parada