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If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
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If You Want to Write (1938)

by Brenda Ueland

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1,644326,679 (4)30
  1. 31
    Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within 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 30 (next | show all)
I applaud her for the basic advice she gives that to write you just need to do it and not fear that it is not good enough. I think she must have some resentment against publishers because she's quick to put down published authors without any details or explanation through the first half of the book. Other than her basic cheerleading of writers (in particular her students) and the tip to keep a diary of uninhibited writing, I found that this book took 179 pages to say what she succinctly wrapped up in the last 4 page chapter. I give it 2 stars, it was okay. ( )
  Brauer11431 | Apr 16, 2019 |
Good at breaking barriers.

(Note: This edition has proofing problems.) ( )
  Fiddleback_ | Dec 17, 2018 |
This had some interesting tips, I'll give it that, but it was somewhat repetitive. There were also too many obvious religious undertones for my liking. I did learn from this book though, and it did help me figure out how to write more effectively. ( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
It doesn't really matter when I finished or when I began reading this book. What matters, is that it is a journey into a woman's heart and in that journey, it's also, if you are listening carefully a path to your own heart. For in any good writing, there must be the heart.

This book is not so much about writing as it is about how we are imposed certain rules and norms by society and Brenda Ueland honestly lets her dismay for those be aired. She doesn't care about what you think and tells us, if we wish to write well, not to worry about how it sounds. I relate perfectly to sentences that are so overly poetic, so overly worded and dramatised that their meaning is lost. Some times they have their place, some times not.

I have kept this book for years and recommended it to friends who didn't seem to like it as much as I did. I think one of the things you have to be prepared to do with this book, especially if you are already a writer or a journalist for many years as I was when I first picked it up, is to let your armour down. To stop telling wanting to write what you think others want to hear, wanting their acceptance.

Just write from the heart and live from the heart. That is the message of this book and that is why it is worthwhile a read.

( )
  mmmorsi | Aug 24, 2018 |
Brenda U is a writer's cheerleader. Wonderfully supportive, very encouraging. All that sticks in memory, aside from a general Brenda-inspired can-do feeling, is the fact that Brenda would encourage would-be writer's to eschew coffee or other stimulants. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:01 -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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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