Being the geeky “learner” that I am (according to the results of my StrengthsFinder assessment), I decided I should not only 1) read more books but also 2) read more books on writing. Great writing. How to write. Creativity.
Based on some of the recommended reads of my favorite authors’ booklists, I started compiling my own list:
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller
- Ignore Everybody – and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
- If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit by Brenda Ueland
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle
I’ve read the first two on the list, am currently reading the third, own books four and five, and still need to get my hands on six through eight. Any takers? My birthday is in six weeks.
Here is a picture of Brenda Ueland, author of If You Want to Write:
I find it amazing that Ueland wrote this book in 1938. I hope I will be as wise when I’m 47. Maybe someone will pay me for my words of wisdom. But this is not about that.
Sometimes I think God brings people/books into our lives at the exact moment we need to hear from them. I guess Paulo Coelho would call that a good omen.
Some of my favorite quotations from Ueland’s book:
“A child experiences things from his true self (creatively) and not from his theoretical self (dutifully), i.e., the self he thinks he ought to be.” (p. 90)
“Gradually by writing you will learn more and more to be free, to say all you think; and at the same time you will learn never to lie to yourself, never to pretend and attitudinize.” (p. 111)
“That is why you must freely and recklessly make new mistakes – in writing or in life – and do not fret about them but pass on and write more. Active evil is so much better than passive good, which is just docility, feebleness, timidity.” (p. 112)