We all know that in order to create a successful web series you have to hire Felicia Day (of ‘The Guild’ fame) but today I found out that it is also advantageous to listen to her new video Blog Geek & Sundry.
She recommended a book “If You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland and somehow that resonated with me. Thanks to Amazon and Kindle books I was in the possession of that book one click later. OK, it were a few clicks first to find the book on Amazon but after that it really was only one click and four bucks later that I could start reading this amazing book.
“So remember these two things: you are talented, and you are original. Be sure of that. I say this because self-trust is one of the very most important things in writing…”
“This creative power and imagination is in everyone, and so is the need to express it, i.e., to share it with others. But what happens to it? It is very tender and sensitive, and it is usually drummed out of people early in life by criticism (so-called “helpful criticism” is often the worst kind), by teasing, jeering, rules, prissy teachers, critics, and all those unloving people who forget that the letter killeth and the spirit giveth life. Sometimes I think of life as a process where everybody is discouraging and taking everybody else down a peg or two.”
”…the only way to love a person is not, as the stereotyped Christian notion is, to coddle them and bring them soup when they are sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the god, in the poet, in them. For by doing this, you keep the god and the poet alive and make it flourish.”
All this reminded me of a ‘decision’ made many, many years ago. During my last high school years I loved the natural sciences including math but also art. Physics was the strongest in terms of appreciation by others.
Now it was the custom that the local news paper (it was a smaller town in Germany) published a list of all the high school graduates with their intended carrier. I was really honest for a moment there and answered the survey’s question about my intended carrier with a simple ‘Artist.’
Unfortunately this honesty did not last that long because after summer and some brain storming I entered college with a major of physics. That was more more ‘realistic’ choice, one that would allow me to ‘make a living.’ Fortunately this field was also something I loved and it got even better when I was done with my masters because those were the days when the field of computer science really started up and needed contributors. There was no major of Computer Science yet, so mostly mathematicians and physicists started to bootstrap this field and I was happy to pitch in – probably partly because in those early days, writing software was more of a creative and artistic activity than an engineering one.
I am glad that the ‘pure’ art also remained in my life even though I had chosen a real money-making carrier as my daytime job. Photography became my medium of expression and somehow musicians were always in my life, sometime to the extent that I was the only ‘audience’ in a big group of musicians.
But I do want to do more writing and so Brenda Ueland’s book came just at the right time.
Thank you, Felicia, for bringing it to me!