This book so speaks to the contemporary writer that it is nearly impossible to believe that it was originally published in 1938. In If You Want to Write
, Brenda Ueland sets forth not just a philosophy about how to write or how to create, but also about how to live. Beginning writers will certainly be encouraged by Ueland's words, but even the most experienced have much to glean from Ueland's simple wisdom. "Everybody," writes Ueland in the opening chapter, "is talented, original, and has something important to say." Finding that something important involves embracing creative idleness ("the imagination needs moodling--long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering"), freeing "what we really
think, from what we think we ought to think," and "thumb[ing] your nose at all know-it-alls, jeerers, critics, doubters." One must think, she says, "of telling a story, not of writing it." And when revising one's writing, she advises, "do not try to think of better words
, more gripping words.... It is not yet deeply enough imagined." Finally, "whenever you find yourself writing a single word or phrase or page dutifully and with boredom, then leave it out.... If what you write bores you, it will bore other people." And just because If You Want to Write
is passionate, sincere, and even spiritual, do not think it is not also witty. One footnote bluntly declaims, "No doubt my terms would horrify a psychologist but I do not care at all." Elsewhere Ueland titles a chapter "Why Women Who Do Too Much Housework Should Neglect It for Their Writing." Amen, sister!
From Publishers Weekly
Ueland argues that anyone can write well once the imagination is freed from self-consciousness, anxiety and fear of failure. This is a fresh and vivid approach to creative endeavors.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.