If You Want to Write
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Brenda Ueland

If You Want to Write

How writing can help us find our voice

If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland reflects on creative writing; just like painting, we can all use this form of artistic expression as an outlet through which to tell our most deep-seated, authentic truth. Throughout her career, the author held many courses and seminars on the subject, always drawing on her observations of the course participants, in order to provide practical and motivational tips on how to unleash our inner writer.

If You Want to Write
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.

Believing in ourselves is the first and most important step to being able to write

Writing is one of the many forms by which human beings express themselves, and narrate their experiences, views of the world, thoughts, and feelings; it has been one of the most influential art forms throughout human history. Before the advent of writing, people would tell stories and experiences through verbal language, which is perhaps why writing is still considered an elitist practice that is not within everyone’s reach. Speaking is an everyday, almost automatic action, but we tend to write less frequently, and usually because we are forced to by bureaucratic procedures or by social media, for example.

According to journalist Brenda Ueland, however, there is no reason to believe that we are incapable of writing well. We are all in control of how we live our lives, and we therefore have something to say. What’s more, everyone has unique and distinctive traits, which become potential talents when they are transferred to the expressive level. There are many reasons why people do not believe in their own originality; most of them, especially in the field of writing, are linked to social pressure, which tends to diminish the value of individual creativity.

The author maintains that our self-belief is one of the most important traits to develop if we want to write. Writing is original, captivating, and engaging, when it is the product of a desire to communicate, and when we allow our most authentic self to speak.


The key ideas of "If You Want to Write"

Believing in ourselves is the first and most important step to being able to write
Creative expression requires courage and focus
Writing is an act of love, not a cry for attention
We should not rush our writing, but calmly focus on contemplation
Working on our descriptive skills is crucial to finding our own style, and to making sure we come across as authentic to the reader
When we remain true to our authentic self, we are able to tell the ‘Universal’ story
In order to become a good writer, we also have to develop our own personality
Brenda Ueland’s technical tips for taking our first steps as writers
Writing is communicating
Take-home message
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