Nov 09, Stuart Aken rated it it was amazing On 13 September, I posted a piece on the difficulties that often beset writers on my blog. In that post I mentioned Dorothea Brandes excellent book, Becoming a Writer, and, having discovered I had never actually reviewed this seminal work, promised I would do so. I re-read the book, and heres that review. As budding writers, were all faced with a bewildering panoply of books on the techniques of the craft. As beginners, this huge bulk of work on how to perform the miracle many of us see as On 13 September, I posted a piece on the difficulties that often beset writers on my blog. As beginners, this huge bulk of work on how to perform the miracle many of us see as writing, can seem very daunting.
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Tarcher, Inc. The fact is that, without creativity, a writer cannot write, so all the technical information in the world cannot unlock the muse, thus causing the writer discontent. First, the two sides of the writer, the child and the adult must be discerned in daily activities. Call it left brain and right brain, or child and adult—some part of the writer has to dream up the plan and some part has to execute the plan. Brande gives us hope that they are both embodied in us and can be recognized and utilized at the right time and place to reach our writing goals.
Following the exercises religiously frees our creative side the child and honors the adult to provide for the real passion the writing. Set up a time for writing. Under no circumstances stand yourself up. Your resistance is actually greater than your desire to write, and you may as well find some other outlet for your energy early as late. If the child the unconscious creative mind knows it is acceptable to come out every day at eight in the morning, come it will, and serve until it is put away when the adult must provide structure so that the child can come another day.
It is not by weighing, balancing, trimming, expanding with conscious intention, that an excellent piece of art is born. It takes its shape and has its origin outside the region of the conscious intellect. Turn it on and turn it off. Although, when you are a writer, you are writing all the time. But there is a time to turn the faucet onto the paper, and that is the delicious part of writing. To see the words you have been nurturing in your unconscious take form before your eyes.
Brande has several other very practical suggestions. She also advises to pay attention to the people who encourage your flow of consciousness and those who do not. If watching television stifles your creativity, do less of it she would advise! Be aware of what puts you in a creative mindset and what does not. Be disciplined! You will find that this acts like a posthypnotic suggestion in more ways than one.
You will get back to the work without delay, and you will pick up the same note with little difficulty, so that your story will not show as many different styles as a patchwork quilt when it is done. I loved this book. The fact that it sat on my bookshelf for nine years has nothing to do with the book. Had I picked it up sooner, I would have avoided many pitfalls. Dorothea Brande was born in Chicago and later attended Mrs. She taught private writing classes and lectured throughout the country.
Among her other books are Most Beautiful Lady , a novel, and Wake Up and Live , which sold over 2,, and was published in eleven languages. According to the National Cyclopedia of American Biography , volume 39, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, an Episcopalian, a Republican, and enjoyed reading, knitting and embroidery!
I leave you with her words. This is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success.
Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
Review Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
Becoming a writer