Quotable Tuesday

“Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it. It is easy and interesting. It is a privilege. There is nothing hard about it but your anxious vanity and fear of failure.”

– Breand Ueland

I adore Brenda Ueland. Her book, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit , helped prop me up when I was just beginning to write, still wobbly with all I did not know. But this partular quote… I don’t know if I completely agree. Writing is hard. Isn’t it? At least parts of it are hard. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many books on writer’s block. You don’t hear of surgeon’s block or mother’s block. No.They have a job and they do it. But writing, Writing is different. Isn’t it? I don’t know. Maybe she is right. Maybe what’s hard is exactly what she says at the end. Maybe I am making it hard with my “anxious vanity and fear of failure.” That is not out of the realm of possibility. I have been known to mess with my own mind before. Maybe it’s time to put the fun back in writing. Curiosity. Or zest as Ray Bradbury suggests. There are certainly worse qualities to bring to the page.

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3 thoughts on “Quotable Tuesday

  1. Being blocked has much to do with putting (unrealistic) expectations one ourselves. “I can’t write and throw pages away!” (Really? because Isabel Allende does, and since I’m much better writer than I could ever dream of being.)

    When I allow myself to write garbage, to write silly, to write something that might not ever have a dream of being published, to doodle on the page, so to speak, it’s like that rusty water that comes out of a pump (or in my case, my ancient apartment building pipes). Yes, it’s unusable, but the good stuff will follow.

  2. I have to say I truly love writing every single day. Yes, I get frustrated when an idea isn’t coming the way it should, but I find other things to write at that moment and move on until I’m clear on the part that’s tripping me up. I don’t let one glitch slow me down.

  3. I agree that we can breed our own inihibitions – when I stop thinking about what the reader thinks vs. what I am trying to express, words seem to flow freely. But I disagree that it’s easy. Some of history’s greatest writers and even genius composers constantly revised – some rewrote their symphonies up to the last moments before premieres!

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