Whenever I struggle with writing, I turn to my tools. Today I felt stuck and decided to start reading “If You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland. I’m only a quarter of the way through the book and I’m already inspired, so I wanted to share a few of Ueland’s words with you . . .
“Everybody is talented because everyone who is human has something to express. Try not expressing anything for twenty-four hours and see what happens.”
“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.”
“You have noticed how teachers, critics, parents, and other know-it-alls, when they see you have written something, become at once long-nosed and finicking and go through it gingerly sniffing out the flaws. AHA! a misspelled word! as though Shakespeare could spell! As though spelling, grammar and what you learn in a book about rhetoric has anything to do with freedom and the imagination!”
“So you see the imagination needs moodling, – a long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”
“I want to assure you with all earnestness, that 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. It has stretched your understanding.”
Whenever I read quotes like these, I’m reminded that I’m not alone and that’s why I constantly turn to books for reassurance. Ueland’s words inspire me to keep writing and taking photos even when I feel like a poser. I’m reminded that creative work of any kind will stretch me. In the moment the stretch might not feel good, but over the long-run stretching my mind is how I stay flexible and open. In short, flexing my creative muscle daily is one way I’ve achieved many dreams.
Who or what do you turn to for reassurance? Share your thoughts in the comments section.