Brenda Ueland

Brenda Ueland
If You Want to Write

Long before the memoir craze and the tidal wave of books on writing, Brenda Ueland sat down and shared her wisdom, culled from decades as a working author and editor, in practical terms.

Ueland is as brisk and down-to-earth as a Midwestern grandmother; to judge from her tone, she might be telling you to wipe your feet so you don’t track mud all over the kitchen floor. Instead, she’s telling you to honor the creative spark within yourself. Ueland is a strong believer in the mystical power of spirit, but she refuses to view writing as the exclusive province of a privileged few. To her, it’s merely a matter of getting what’s inside your head out on to the paper. And she’s all for fierce, reckless wildness, not discipline and drudgery (“Be a lion, be a pirate, when you write”).

The book’s premise is summed up in the title of its first chapter: “Everybody Is Talented, Original, and Has Something Important to Say.” Is there a better reason to pick up a pen?

If you want to write, you want to read this book.

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