Carol's Reviews > If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
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's review
Jun 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: writing-info
Read from June 13 to 16, 2011

An inspiring book by an amazing author (published in 1938)! This easy read states some of the most profound truths about creativity. She repeats throughout the book the idea that "everyone is talented, original, and has something important to say." Drawing on Blake’s influence, she suggests that writers should "Try to discover your true, honest, un-theoretical self." In addition to Blake, she discusses more of my favorite artists/music such as van Gogh and Tolstoy. Discussing music “in playing the piano, sometimes you are playing AT a thing, and sometimes you are playing IN it.” Or to rephrase it “she always practices and never plays.”

Ueland had a great career: editor, staff writer and freelanced for many publications; wrote scripts for radio shows including a program entitled Tell Me More, which featured Ueland responding to listener's personal problems; taught local writing classes. Ueland was physically active well into her old age (walked 9 miles a day; daily improved her handstands; set an international swimming record for people over 80 years old). She died at the age of 93.

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