From our first reading of this book (published continually since 1938, even amidst the splurge of crafty books -- that tells you something!) we exclaimed: ''this is the best book ever written about how to write!'' (Which, by the way, is also a quote from Carl Sandburg.) What can we tell you -- Ueland believes in writing. She believes in the importance of our ''thoughts, adventures, failures, rages, villainies and nobilities.'' Her motto is ''be bold, be free, be truthful,'' and she is convinced that truthfulness saves the writing, makes the writing. Drawing principally from Blake, Dostoevski, Tolstoy and Chekhov, but many other sources as well, she enthusiastically directs us to the choice-making center of our selves, where lies ''all originality, talent, honor, truthfulness, courage, and cheerfulness,'' and compels us to work and choose the ''good and the grand, the true and the beautiful.'' Anyone who cares about writing with color and authenticity must read this book. 180 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
"But we must try to find our True Conscience, our True Self, the very Center, for this is the only first-rate choice-making center. Here lies all originality, talent, honor, truthfulness, courage and cheerfulness. Here lies the ability to choose the good and the grand, the true and the beautiful.
"In her ninety-three remarkable years, Brenda Ueland published six million words. She said she had two rules she followed absolutely: to tell the truth, and not to do anything she didn't want to do. Her integrity shines throughout "If You Want to Write," her bestselling classic on the process of writing that has already inspired
thousands to find their own creative center. Carl Sandburg called this book "the best book ever written about how to write." Yet Ueland reminds us that "whenever I say 'writing' in this book, I also mean anything that you love and want to do or make."