25 January 2008

If You Want to Write:

A book about Art, Independence and Spirit.

I'm finishing the aforementioned book by Brenda Ueland. (Note the link is for Green Apple Books on Clement Street in San Francisco, another wonderful urban oasis.) Although Ms. Ueland has passed on, I find her writing so lively and cogent that the book feels like a homey pot-luck workshop. She's a bit of a mystic, but the barefoot, outdoorsy kind, without the pretension or hauteur we've come to expect from the spiritual types these days. She quotes William Blake quite a lot, so I suppose I'll have to dig up more of his stuff. Mostly, she urges us to write freely, and be unafraid. By "write" she really means create, that is, the book serves as a guide for any passionate endeavor--be it dancing, boxing, cooking, or whatnot. She seems to be one of these people who lived how they wanted to live and felt unfettered by social norms. I was struck by much inspiring, timeless wisdom (the book is from 1938), but this passage is the current dust bunny clinging to my cerebral velcro:

And do not try to be consistent, for what is true to you today may not be true at all tomorrow, because you see a better truth.

To me, this means don't get trapped by your prejudices. Stay open, keep learning, grow. Sound advice for anyone, not just writers, eh?

1 comment:

nancyo said...

What a wonderful, luminous quote from Brenda Ueland's book -- life-intensive. Thank you for sharing. And I am in concert with you on Green Apple Books -- yes!