I’m The New Stephen King

I found this writing analysis yesterday where you post a segment of your writing and it compares it to classical and modern writers to see whose style you most closely resemble. After I inserted a few blog posts, here was what my badge looked like:

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have to tell you, I wasn’t displeased.

Stephen King just happens to be my favorite fiction author of all time (although Chuck Palahniuk is a close second) and I have read 96% of his writings at least once, most twice.  I credit his books The Stand, It, and Salem’s Lot for my love of the horror genre and I truly believe The Dark Tower series is the best series of books written by an American author in history (disagree if you want, I respect your right to be wrong).

The Sincerest Form of Flattery…

The  truth is that I never once sat down and said, “Joey, this blog post needs to sound more Stephen King-y”.  It just kind of happened because that’s what I surrounded myself with literature-wise for most of my life.  Whether you want it to or not, the things you surround yourself do and will rub off on you.  Whether it’s your speech patterns (y’all), your musical interests, sports interests, or writing habits, you are made up of thousands of memories that collect into the mosaic that is you, but here’s the kicker: that’s not a bad thing.

Where this can really come into play is with your ideas surrounding success and personal growth.  I had this conversation not two days ago with John Morgan (@johnmorgan) or BrandBreakout.com.  The people you surround yourself with and the constant intake of information regarding what is “possible” and “acceptable” in business sink in a great deal more than you might want to admit.

Möbius Strip Tease

At this point in the post we could go round and round about communication theories like Social Influence Theory and Cognitive Dissonance, but instead I’d like to keep it simple.  Peer pressure is real and you are affected by the people and things around you.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what are you going to do with this new-found knowledge?  As I see it, you have two options:

  1. You can accept the fact the the people you surround yourself with play a factor in how you view the world and go out of your way to surround yourself with quality people. Or…
  2. You can do nothing.  (This is only the wrong choice if you are NOT currently surrounding yourself with quality people.)

Change Your Lenses

Make an effort this week to surround yourself with 10 new people.  Make sure they are people who you consider successful and whose opinions could actually improve your life situation.  You could do that on Twitter (probably the easiest way with things like #FollowFriday), you cold use Google Blog Search or Digg to find articles from people you respect and start commenting on those blogs (check out my blogroll if you want some good places to start too).  This doesn’t have to be a losing battle and you don’t have to get rid of your old friends, just make room in your life to let in  some positive reinforcements.

All great strides in life involve sacrifice.  Make sure the strides you are making are with people going in the direction you seek.

But hey, you don’t have to listen to me, I’m only the new Stephen King.

What do you think?

P.S. – Stephen, if you happen to read this, thank you and keep up the great work.


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About Joey Strawn

Digital marketing sociologist and public relations specialist with experience on national and local campaigns with a love for film and the things it says about our culture and business. Joey is the Senior Social Media Strategist at ISM in Nashville, TN and is in the business of helping people and companies deal with the new universe of social media in their marketing and PR endeavors.
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4 Responses to I’m The New Stephen King

  1. Sally G. says:

    Your sense of humour is the quality I like about you most ~ and the surprising route your posts follow is appreciated too. First, thank you for respecting my right to be wrong ~ it completely took the wind out of my sails and I no longer feel the need to express a viewpoint about Stephen King one way or the other. (Though I’d ‘badge you’ with Jon Stewart … because he also writes intelligently with humour.)

    I think it’s critical to assess ‘your surroundings’ on a regular basis. Following the philosophy stated in A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime, we’re meant to meet people who connect with us anywhere on the spectrum of Briefly to Forever ~ and not everyone is a long-term Forever.

    Similarly, we also can outlast our usefulness in the lives of others. So when people move on, release us or ‘disappear’ from our lives ~ it’s not something to angst over, it could simply be that you no longer mirror who they are or who they desire themselves to be. Yet while you were connected to them ~ you likely served with significance.

    Great post Joey ~ and no offense Stephen King …

    • Joey Strawn says:

      Thanks Sally, I always look forward to your comments because you bring something new to what I write, something for me to look deeper into.

      I think you got it completely right, not only is it our job to make sure that we are surrounding ourself with positive influences, but also to make sure those that use us as surroundings are benefiting from our presence there.

      Thanks!

  2. Jake LaCaze says:

    The same site said that my fiction was similar to Chuck Palahniuk and my latest blog post was similar to Ray Bradbury. As far as fiction goes, I was hoping for Bret Easton Ellis, but I’ll take Palahniuk. I used to be a big fan of Palahniuk’s, but that’s another story for another day.

    Your post makes a great point. Yes, we are susceptible to peer pressure, no matter how much we want to believe otherwise. The people we surround ourselves with influence our behavior. Also, I’d argue that for most of us, our behavior may even change to be similar to the people we’re around at that very moment. (Like when people say you act differently depending on who you’re hanging out with).

    • Joey Strawn says:

      I would agree with you on that point. If I pay close attention, I can even see it happen with myself. I lived in Boston for two years and almost completely lost my Southern accent, but when I moved back to Nashville, within 2 days it was back to normal. If we watch closely we can see ourselves conform to things around us in minuscule ways. It’s our task to figure out how to make that a positive.

      Also, I’d consider it a pleasure to be compared to either Chuck Palahniuk or Brett Easton Ellis, sounds like your writing should be well-received.

      Thanks for your comment!

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