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If You Want to Write: A Book about Art,…
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If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit (1938)

by Brenda Ueland

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1,354245,689 (4.07)19
Recently added byLucyaSali, private library, Vilmita, JustinHolcomb, AngieDixon
  1. 30
    Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (Z-Ryan)
  2. 00
    The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes (alexmuninn)
    alexmuninn: Courage to Write has a very similar message to Ueland's book (indeed, Keyes quotes If You Want to Write) but it was written in 1995 rather than 1938, so Courage to Write lacks the disturbing and dated racism of If You Want to Write.
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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This book made me want to stop reading and start writing. I love Ueland's enthusiasm and her quirky style. Empowering and energizing.

What annoyed me about my Kindle version of the book was that it made no mention of the original publication date--just dated it 2010. Come on now, it came out in 1938 or thereabouts. It seems like that should be on the book somewhere.

Some of my favorite quotes.

"...'creative work' .... is like a faucet: nothing comes unless you turn it on and the more you turn it on, the more comes" (Kindle Location 357).

"...what we write today slipped into our souls some other day when we were alone and doing nothing .... what you write today is the result of some span of idling yesterday, some fairly long period of protection from talking and busyness" KL 507 & 519.

"Yes, the more you wish to describe a Universal the more minutely and truthfully you must describe a Particular" KL 1518.

"If you write a bad story, the way to make it better is to write three more. Then look at the first one. You will have grown in understanding, in honesty. You will know what to do to it. And to yourself" KL 2005.

"The secret of being interesting is to move along as fast as the mind of the reader (or listener) can take it in. Both must march along in the same tempo. That is why it is good to read your writing aloud to yourself" KL 2016. ( )
  Violet_Nesdoly | Jan 4, 2015 |
wonderful! ( )
  ava-st-claire | Feb 21, 2014 |
The best book on creativity I've ever read. Written in 1937, still completely fresh and inspiring. ( )
1 vote ericaheinz | Apr 4, 2013 |
Read in 2013, instructional
  gabebaker | Mar 18, 2013 |
A classic! I've read this several times, and I always find something else that inspires me. It always helps me get out of a 'rut.'

Mind you, it's not really a book on technique, so if you're looking for a more nuts-and-bolts kind of writing book (structure, plot development, etc.), you may want to skip this one. But, if you are looking for inspiration and tips on getting started, this will certainly help. Happy writing! ( )
1 vote AlekG | Jan 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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I have been writing a long time and have learned some things, not only from my own long hard work, but from a writing class I had for three years.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0915308940, Paperback)

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. Brenda Ueland, a writer and teacher, devotes most of her book--published back in 1938, before everyone and their goldfish got their MFA's in creative writing--to these matters of the writer's heart. Still, the real gift of the book is Ueland herself: She liked to write, she didn't care what anyone thought, and she had a great sense of humor. You're simply happy to hang out with her.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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. Brenda Ueland, a writer and teacher, devotes most of her book--published back in 1938, before everyone and their goldfish got their MFA's in creative writing--to these matters of the writer's heart. Still, the real gift of the book is Ueland herself: She liked to write, she didn't care what anyone thought, and she had a great sense of humor. You're simply happy to hang out with her.… (more)

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