If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
If You Want To Write

If You Want To Write

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by Brenda Ueland
     
 

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"The best book ever written about how to write."-Carl Sandburg

Brenda Ueland has inspired thousands to take pen to paper through her classic book, If You Want to Write. She has moved countless to become more artistic, optimistic, and charged with possibility. Ueland's charismatic personality and encouragement that "everybody is talented, original and has something

Overview

"The best book ever written about how to write."-Carl Sandburg

Brenda Ueland has inspired thousands to take pen to paper through her classic book, If You Want to Write. She has moved countless to become more artistic, optimistic, and charged with possibility. Ueland's charismatic personality and encouragement that "everybody is talented, original and has something important to say," have made her a favorite among fans ranging from creative writing students to computer programmers.

For most, the hardest part of writing is overcoming the mountain of self-denial that weighs upon the spirit, always threatening to extinguish those first small embers of ambition. Ueland devotes most of If You Want to Write to matters of the writer's heart.

"An inspirational tract aimed at all those who would write but are prevented from so doing by shyness, fear or humility . . . I was with [Ueland] right up to the end and wanted to shout, 'Amen.'"-Andrei Codrescu, NPR

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (April)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935785576
Publisher:
Bottom of the Hill Publishing
Publication date:
07/01/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
122
Sales rank:
831,782
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)

Read an Excerpt

If You Want to Write

A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit
By Brenda Ueland

Graywolf Press

Copyright © 1987 Estate of Brenda Ueland
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-55597-260-8


Chapter One

Yes, it has made me like working to see that writing is not a performance but a generosity.

I find that I wrote this to someone three years ago:

"Forgive me, but perhaps you should write again. I think there is something necessary and life-giving about 'creative work' (forgive the term). A state of excitement. And it is like a faucet: nothing comes unless you turn it on, and the more you turn it on, the more comes.

"It is our nasty twentieth century materialism that makes us feel: what is the use of writing, painting, etc., unless one has an audience or gets cash for it? Socrates and the men of the Renaissance did so much because the rewards were intrinsic, i.e., the enlargement of the soul.

"Yes, we are all thoroughly materialistic about such things. 'What's the use?' we say, of doing anything unless you make money or get applause? for when a man is dead he is dead.' Socrates and the Greeks decided that a man's life should be devoted to 'the tendance of the Soul' (Soul included intelligence, imagination, spirit, understanding, personality) for the soul lived eternally, in all probability.

"I think it is all right to work for money, to work to have things enjoyed by people, even very limited ones; but the mistake is to feel that the work, the effort, the search is not the important and the exciting thing. One cannot strive to write a cheap, popular story without learning more about cheapness. But enough. I may very well be getting to raving."

And so now I have established reasons why you should work from now on until you die, with real love and imagination and intelligence, at your writing or whatever work it is that you care about. If you do that, out of the mountains that you write some mole hills will be published. Or you may make a fortune and win the Nobel Prize. But if nothing is ever published at all and you never make a cent, just the same it will be good that you have worked.

1938

(Continues...)



Excerpted from If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland Copyright © 1987 by Estate of Brenda Ueland. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

BRENDA UELAND (1891?1985) spent many years living in New York, where she was part of the Greenwich Village bohemian crowd. She received an international swimming record for over-eighty-year-olds and was knighted by the King of Norway.

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