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If You Want to Write (1938)

– tekijä: Brenda Ueland

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,791367,161 (4.02)32
Much more than a tract about writing, this is a wise and witty call for imagination in all areas of life. It will appeal to everyone who's ever dreamed of creating something.
  1. 31
    Luihin ja ytimiin : kirja kirjoittajalle (tekijä: Natalie Goldberg) (Z-Ryan)
  2. 00
    The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear (tekijä: 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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» Katso myös 32 mainintaa

englanti (34)  hollanti (1)  Kaikki kielet (35)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 35) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This book has won many fans in the eighty years since it first appeared. I’m three chapters in, and after skimming ahead I see there is little prospect of an increase in the ratio of substance to verbiage, so I’m bailing on it.
The subtitle hints at the author’s style: This is a “Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit.” In other words, it’s about the romantic style, an expression of individual personality. “Everybody is talented, original, and has something to say,” as she says in the title of her first chapter. Her motto is “be Bold, be Free, be Truthful” (yes, she capitalizes these terms).
The models she holds up include Blake, Tolstoi, and other “great Ones of the Divine Imagination.”
I will grant her this: she presaged what has come to be known as the ten thousand hours of dedicated practice: “If you will write as many words as Kreisler has practiced trills I prophesy that you will win the Nobel Prize in ten years. But here is an important thing: you must practice not perfunctorily, but with all your intelligence and love, as Kreisler does” (p. 9).
While I’ve decided this book is not for me, the author encouraged thousands over many decades in her writing classes. She can be stern, but she’s also encouraging. Always encouraging. So this book might be helpful to you, it might even change your life. That would be fine with me.
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
“If You Want To Write” by Brenda Ueland is a masterpiece. It is one of those books a reader should read slowly.

This book can liberate you from many issues that block your progress. The title of the book is masterful. It invites you to wonder what comes next. The title invites you to enter a world in which she invites your imagination and creativity to run wild in boundless joy.

My recommendation is for a reader to restrict himself, or herself, to only one chapter a day. I also recommend that you keep a pencil with you, so you don’t forget to underline those phrases and sentences that resonate with you.

Then, after a year, read the book again and measure how far along the road you have travelled. ( )
  RajivC | Oct 13, 2020 |

I couldn't move beyond Ueland's writing style. It was rambling and disjointed; most likely because everything that needs to be said can be summed up by finishing the title sentence.

If you want to write, write.

(Side note, Ueland very much inspired me to become acquainted with Van Gogh. I may pick up his letters or maybe just a biography.)
  OHChristine | May 16, 2020 |
I agree with the general idea of this book - writing is important and you should write from your true self - and I think for that reason exactly the book was less compelling to me than it might have been otherwise. Other than a few interesting ideas I think the most important thing I took away from it is the craving to learn more about the work and lives of Tolstoi, Chekhov, Van Gogh and other great artists of whom Ueland speaks often. I think it's a good, light read for anyone who is curious about writing but has not yet tried it or feels stuck. ( )
  AmirBaer | Jan 23, 2020 |
Brenda Ueland, one of the more interesting people I had never heard of until, by chance, picking up this easy to read tome at my local thrift shop recently. Born in Minneapolis in 1891 her father was a lawyer and judge and her mother a leader in the suffrage movement. She resided for awhile in Greenwich Village, NY where she was part of the behemian crowd that included John Reed, Louise Bryant, and Eugene O'Neill. Later returning to Mineapolis she earned a living as a writer, editor and teacher of writing. She counted Carl Sandburg amongst her visiting friends. She died in 1985 at the age of 93.

This book reads as one big personal pep talk to each of us. She is adamant that everyone of us has talent for expression, if only we let it out. She is inspirational, if nothing else. Much of it is anecdotal, as she recounts experiences she had with the students who attended her classes in the thirties. This book was originally published in 1938, so many of the story glimpses reflect that time in mid America.

She often quotes the likes of those who have inspired her, such as Blake and Van Gogh. She is harshly critical of the literary critic, whom she believes are responsible for snuffing out the flame of inspiration within those who seek to express themselves creatively. I would assume that should would have had sharp disagreement with Ezra Pound who pompously declared; "Anyone who is too lazy to master the comparatively small glossary necessary to understand Chaucer deserves to be shut out from the reading of good books forever."

Although not as analytical and thought-provoking as Margaret Atwood's "Negotiating with the Dead A Writer on Writing" (which I hope to review soon) I am glad I took the time to read it. ( )
  Leonardo747 | Jul 11, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 35) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
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Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
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Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Ensimmäiset sanat
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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.
Viimeiset sanat
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia


Much more than a tract about writing, this is a wise and witty call for imagination in all areas of life. It will appeal to everyone who's ever dreamed of creating something.

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