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If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit | [Brenda Ueland]

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit

In her 93 remarkable years, veteran freelance writer, memoirist, and writing teacher Brenda Ueland published some six million words. She once said there were two simple rules that she followed absolutely: to tell the truth, and to not do anything she didn't want to do. Such integrity both distinguishes and defines If You Want to Write, her best-selling classic that first appeared in the late 1930s and has inspired thousands to find their own creative center.
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Publisher's Summary

In her 93 remarkable years, veteran freelance writer, memoirist, and writing teacher Brenda Ueland published some six million words. She once said there were two simple rules that she followed absolutely: to tell the truth, and not to do anything she didn't want to do. Such integrity both distinguishes and defines If You Want to Write, her best-selling classic that first appeared in the late 1930s and has inspired thousands to find their own creative center. As Carl Sandburg once remarked, Ueland's primer is "the best book ever written on how to write".

©1938, 1987 Brenda Ueland and the Estate of Brenda Ueland; (P)1991, 1998 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"A fresh and viable retelling....[Hunt's] rich prose and cultural details utilize the five senses to recreate the familiar story." (Publishers Weekly)

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4.3 (75 )
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  •  
    Ronnie Westmount, Quebec, Canada 04-20-08
    Ronnie Westmount, Quebec, Canada 04-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The most inspiring book"

    I have always shyed away from writing, but this book gives one such positive reinforcement as well as great ideas to help you get over any kind of writer's block. I highly recommend it to any aspiring writer.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-23-09
    05-23-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inspirational"

    The narrator is great. Entertaining, informative, and inspirational.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    salt lake joan salt lake city 05-15-13
    salt lake joan salt lake city 05-15-13 Member Since 2008

    happy cook

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    "Thank you life, for the gift of Brenda Ueland"

    I have her original book, thanks to Anne Lamott's recommendation but now the audible version makes everything complete. I can listen to Brenda's inspiring words whenever I have a minute and they not only change the way I write but the way I live. The narrator is absolutely fantastic. Thank you, thank you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    drjamm 05-10-11
    drjamm 05-10-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A perfect tonic to recharge your writing batteries"

    I listen to this fabulously narrated classic by Brenda Ueland once a year just to clear my head and re-inspire myself to continue writing. My only complaint is that it is abridged and some of the original gorgeous text is missing. But still listening to this audiobook on a brisk walk brings renewed zest to my writing practice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerri Tampa, FL, United States 03-17-13
    Gerri Tampa, FL, United States 03-17-13
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    "Need an unabridged version..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This book is great - a classic. But this abridged version doesn't do this wonderful book justice. And why abridge it to begin with? It's not a long book. So much wisdom is left out.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Brenda Ueland? Why or why not?

    Of course - IF it is unabridged!


    What about Pat Carroll’s performance did you like?

    She read this wonderfully! My complaint is certainly not with her performance - she was great. The whole (audio) book needs to be made available.


    Was If You Want to Write worth the listening time?

    again, needs to be longer - the whole book.


    Any additional comments?

    Like I said, this book is such a gem, an unabridged version needs to be available. And with Pat Carroll reading it as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer New Orleans 06-07-12
    Amazon Customer New Orleans 06-07-12 Member Since 2010

    Entrepreneur & Writer

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    "Pat Carroll's smooth, authoritative voice"
    What made the experience of listening to If You Want to Write the most enjoyable?

    This voice put to these beautiful, classical, sensitive words - this audio program, in my humble opinion, is simple, short and gorgeous!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of If You Want to Write?

    Her mentioning that years prior to writing that manifesto, she would have exhaustively looked for scientific proof to back up her words, but then she exclaimed that 'I say it because it is true to me, that it is true and you should have it!' - my favorite part!


    Which character – as performed by Pat Carroll – was your favorite?

    Pat Carroll voice was perfect for this book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Do you!


    Any additional comments?

    my review for the print version - There are no words...but i'll try. Brenda Ueland has written this manifesto for everyone who has anything in them to share to spur them on. I love the wording, I love the quotes from her favorite people, I love her artists sensibility and that she gets the way a writer's mind works. She was and is (because being that she was a writing teacher, this book screams of her living spirit) THE voice for a writer lost in their own mind, trying to latch on to guidance and do their thing.

    I simply love her and this book is why I do.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KATHRYN United States 01-21-12
    KATHRYN United States 01-21-12
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    "Great motivation to get you Writing again!"
    Would you listen to If You Want to Write again? Why?

    Absolutely, I listen to a bit when I get stuck


    What did you like best about this story?

    That you don't have to be perfect, you just have to do it. The rest will come in time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shay haifa, Israel 09-17-12
    shay haifa, Israel 09-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "didnt help me with my writting"

    sorry, this book didnt do it for me....it was just listening to common sense, that's it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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