Brenda Ueland was an independent, highly successful writer who authored a classic called, If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit. What a marvelous, magical title!
She was a true believer in the power of creativity and devoted much of her energy to helping people unleash that power within themselves. To inspire us all today, I’ve gathered some quotes from her book:
“Everybody is original, if he tells the truth, if he speaks from himself. But it must be from his ‘true’ self and not from the self he thinks he ‘should’ be.”
“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten – happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another. ”
“No writing is a waste of time – no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good.”
“Work freely and rollickingly as though you were talking to a friend who loves you. Mentally (at least three or four times a day) thumb your nose at all know-it-alls, jeerers, critics, doubters.”
“Don’t always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. ‘I will not Reason and Compare,’ said Blake; ‘my business is to Create.’ Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable.”
“The only way to write well, so that people believe what we say and are interested or touched by it, is to slough off all pretentiousness and attitudinizing.”
“Creative power flourishes only when I am living in the present.”
“…writing is not a performance but a generosity.”
“Work freely and rollickingly” — what better advice is there? Write on!
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