I have been reading On Writing (again), and I am dumbfounded by Stephen King’s craft. He describes the girl he used as a model for Carrie, bringing her vividly to life: a homely girl who came to school one September with completely new clothes, looking pretty for the first time. Instead of welcoming her into the fold, the other kids started tormenting her more aggressively than they ever did before. He summarizes the situation with a metaphor so succinct it stopped me short: she made a break for the fence, and the group took her down, that’s all; once the social order was restored they left her alone. He writes with the grace of Michael Jordon, making the shot look effortless. What you don’t think about is how many years of practice he put in. He has been writing every day since he was ten, continuing without a break for his entire life.