I spent nearly the whole weekend reading. I stacked up books next to the sofa and ploughed through several mysteries and a memoir. I cannot think of a better way to spend a holiday weekend. All summer, I will be reviewing these books on my blog. If you’re interested in learning about great new books and delicious old ones, subscribe to the blog.
Summer Tips. To go along with my theme of reading, this summer’s Tuesday Write Now! Tips will be inspired by some of my favorite books on writing. For those of you who want more writing inspiration and current information about the book world, like my business page on Facebook. Feel free to stop by the page to ask questions, leave suggestions, and connect with others!
If You Want to Write. A few years ago, I discovered Brenda Ueland’s marvelous book, If You Want To Write. I devoured it in a few sittings, startling my children by repeatedly shouting, “Yes!” at the book. I underlined my favorite passages, marking and turning down page after page.
Ueland begins her book by telling the reader that, “Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say.” She goes on to talk about the “joyful, imaginative, impassioned,” creative energy that each of us is born with and loses at a very young age. Why do we lose it? Because we do not respect it—and so we do not nurture it in ourselves or others.
The solution is both brilliant and simple. Nurture your creativity. Take the time to immerse yourself in your art. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and dump those who criticize you. As Ueland wrote:
How could we keep [this creative power] alive? By using it, by letting it out, by giving some time to it. But if we are women we think it is more important to wipe noses and carry doilies than to write or to play the piano. And men spend their lives adding and subtracting and dictating letters when they secretly long to write sonnets and play the violin and burst into tears at the sunset.
They do not know, as Blake did, that this is a fearful sin against themselves. They would be much greater now, more full of light and power, if they had really written the sonnets and played the fiddle and wept over the sunset, as they wanted to.
Writers, take Ueland’s advice this summer and immerse yourself in your work. Read, write, walk, think, and repeat.