Sunday, April 28, 2013

"if you want to write"

This week's post comes to you compliments of Brenda Ueland, from her work titled, "If You Want to Write--A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit."

At the end of the book she sums it up this way: If you want to write:
  • Believe that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.

  • Believe that it is good to work. Work with love and think about liking it when you do. Think of it as easy and interesting. It is a privilege. There is nothing hard about it but your own anxious vanity and fear of failure.
  • Write freely and wrecklessly in your first drafts.

  • Tackle anything you want to--novels, plays, poetry, anything.
  • Don't be afraid to write a bad story. To discover what is wrong with it write two more and then go back to it.

  • Don't fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past. Often it is a way of anticipating critcism, saying hurriedly, " I know this is awful!" before anyone else does. Fight this tendency which is, much of it, due not to splendid modesty, but to a lack of self-respect. Very bad and very cowardly. It is so conceited and timid to be ashamed of one's mistakes. Of course they are mistakes. Go on to the next thing.

  • Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.

  • Don't think of a tangle of nerves in the skull that will not work unless you drink coffee.

         Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illluminated perhaps and forever talked to by God and his messengers. Remember how wonderful you are, what a miracle!
  • If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means that your vision can see so far that it is hard to measure up to it...The only unfortunate people are the glib ones, immediately satisfied with their work. To them the ocean is only knee-deep.

  • When you are discouraged, remember what van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice within you saying, "You are no painter." then paint by all means, and that voice will be silenced.

  • Don't be afraid of yourself when you write. Don't check-rein yourself. If you are afraid of being sentimental, for heaven's sake, be as sentimental as you can. Then you will probably pass through to the other side and slough off sentimentality because now you understand it and really don't care about it.

  • Don't appraise yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.
Kinda makes you want to begin again, doesn't it?
"We start out in our lives as little children,
full of light and the clearest vision.
Then we go to school and then comes on the great army
of schoolteachers with their critical pencils,
and parents and older brothers and cantakerous friends,
and finally the Great Murderer of the Imagination--
a world of unceasing, unkind, dinky, prissy
--Brenda Ueland--
So far, the response to the release of "Empower! Women's Stories of Breakthrough, Discovery, and Triumph" has been overwhelmingly positive! I know I couldn't put it down once I started reading everyones' stories. You can order it here: My chapter is titled, "Begin Again", of course! Thanks for your support.

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