A few weeks ago, someone handed me a copy of “If You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland. My copy has a turquoise paper cover, upon which two orange starfish drift, as if they are falling out of the sky. The copyright is dated 1938. Ms. Ueland, the introduction tells me, died in 1985 at the age of 93.
Given that it has been in print for so long, and that I frequently troll about the “Books on Writing” section, I am astounded that I have never come across it before.
It is a rare book that makes me feverish to write. There are many books on the subject that have shamed me into picking up my pen, or prodded me to push out one more page, or impressed me with my grave and important duty to share my stories with the world. This book is a different creature entirely: two pages into the first chapter, I tossed it aside and ran to my keyboard, because I simply had to get something out.