If You Want to Write

Image: Amazon.com

A few years ago I read John Gardner‘s “The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers.” In that book, Gardner referenced another book by Brenda Ueland – If you Want to Write. I skimmed the book, but was full of  Gardner‘s ideas and methods and anxious to apply them, such that I didn’t really give Ueland’s book the attention it probably deserved.

I was pleasantly surprised then when my instructor in the writing course I’m currently taking referenced Ueland’s book in the very first lesson. The reference she used was so clear, and practical, and directly applicable to my writing that I was struck with how important it is to have the right information at the right time; that all the great tips, tricks, thoughts in the world don’t do me any good unless I’m in a time and place in which I can be thoughtful and receptive.

For me, in addition to a great lesson in writing, it was a great lesson to be mindful and open and to consider things more carefully when presented with them, rather than just rush to complete the task I’m on. Hopefully this will help me be a better writer!

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