Currently Inspired By: “If You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland
What is it about us human beings and our capacity to always want what we can’t have?
This book, for instance.
It sat in my bookcase for six years, untouched, unloved, despite the fact I’d heard it mentioned by numerous sources over the years as a “must-read” for writers. Finally I gave it to my BFF, Frankie. Where it proceeded to lay in her bookcase, not for six years, but…you get the drift.
Anyhoo, it was only when I was up visiting her last weekend that I came across it again. And for the first time EVER – I actually started reading. And reading. And reading. And reading turned to underlining. And underlining turned to more underlining. And more underlining turned to…da da da da…putting my newly sparked passion into practice and WRITING.
I have written more in the past few days than I have written in MONTHS. Articles, sketches of book projects, snippets of comedy…I have turned a real corner, THANK THE GOOD LORD DAVID BOWIE.
I’d love to share a few snippets with you which have particularly rocked my world.
Writing, the creative effort, the use of the imagination, should come first – at least for some part of every day of your life. It is a wonderful blessing if you will use it. You will become happier, more enlightened, alive, impassioned, light-hearted and generous to everybody else. Even your health will improve. Colds will disappear and all the other ailments of discouragement and boredom.
Damn, I hope she’s right! 😉
Also, in talking about William Blake:
…this creative power in Blake did not come from ambition…he said…”I wish to do nothing for profit. I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am quite happy.”
And the following two, which I think apply as well (which I suppose, they absolutely should anyway) to comedy:
But it must come from your true self and not your theoretical self, from what you really think, love and believe, not from your hope to make an impression.
When you say perfunctorily about the sky just to talk: ‘What a beautiful evening!’ that is not poetry. But if you say it and mean it very much, it is.
By the way if you’re interested you can buy the book for yourself over here.
It’s really inspired me to try harder with my writing. To push myself to not be lazy – which I really, REALLY have been – but to, as my treasured friends and improv posse at Loose Moose Theatre would put it, “play at the top of your intelligence.” Which essentially, I think, just means to strive to do the best work you’re truly capable of. No phoning it in!
While we’re on the writing front, I have been flirting with the idea – not seriously, just in a Britney in “Oops I Did It Again” way – of writing a bit more on here ABOUT writing, doing some creative prompts etc. on there, kinda like an incredibly informal and most likely highly scatter-brained writing group/corner. Only you don’t need to report back on what you’ve done (unless of course, you want to!), rather it would just be a way of hopefully prompting any of you who enjoy writing/wanna write to be inspired to do more of it, myself included! Would that be of interest to YOU? To anybody out there other than myself? If so, please let me know in the comments and so long as I’m not overwhelmed by crickets (note the “s” there. I can’t imagine how anybody on this earth could be overwhelmed by cricket), I will proceed with said idea. If not, no biggie, I will just continue my thing over here in the corner and occasionally interrupt my scrawlings with bursts of manic youtube-surfing.
Let me know what you reckon.