The book remains in print today, offering valuable tips for both writers and entrepreneurs. But it is possible to train both sides of the character to work in harmony, and the first step in that education is to consider that you must teach yourself not as though you were one person, but two. I think meditation is an under-appreciated habit that really does strengthen your concentration, patience, and capacity for productive reflection. Write any sort of early morning reverie, rapidly and uncritically. The best way to do this is to rise half an hour, or a full hour, earlier than you customarily rise.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande ,.
John Gardner Foreword by. Refreshingly slim, beautifully written and deliciously elegant, Dorothea Brande's Becoming a Writer remains evergreen decades after it was first written. Brande believed passionately that although people have varying amounts of talent, anyone can write. It's just a question of finding the "writer's magic"--a degree of which is in us all. She also insists that writing can b Refreshingly slim, beautifully written and deliciously elegant, Dorothea Brande's Becoming a Writer remains evergreen decades after it was first written.
She also insists that writing can be both taught and learned. So she is enraged by the pessimistic authors of so many writing books who rejoice in trying to put off the aspiring writer by constantly stressing how difficult it all is.
With close reference to the great writers of her day--Wolfe, Forster, Wharton and so on--Brande gives practical but inspirational advice about finding the right time of day to write and being very self disciplined about it--"You have decided to write at four o'clock, and at four o'clock you must write. Then there are exercises to help you get into the right frame of mind and to build up writing stamina.
She also shows how to harness the unconscious, how to fall into the "artistic coma," then how to re-emerge and be your own critic. This is Dorothea Brande's legacy to all those who have ever wanted to express their ideas in written form.
A sound, practical, inspirational and charming approach to writing, it fulfills on finding "the writer's magic. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published March 1st by J. Tarcher first published More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Becoming a Writer , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Becoming a Writer. Brande's book helped pioneer the contemporary monster genre of books on the writing life.
Excellent book for all beginning writers and is just as useful for those who have been writing for a while. Apr 06, Daniel rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-about-writing , glendale-library-store , , books-deserving-rediscovery. Holy crap, Dorothea Brande, why the hell is your book almost completely forgotten? I give "Becoming a Writer" five stars not because it's the most amazing book ever written -- it is, after all, an instructional book, and as such has its limits -- but because it feels almost like it was written yesterday, not 75 years ago, when it actually was published.
More importantly, it far surpasses even the most famous and best-loved books on writing that have come since. I couldn't bring myself to finish N Holy crap, Dorothea Brande, why the hell is your book almost completely forgotten? I couldn't bring myself to finish Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones" from , and found Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" from flawed but better; Brande's manual, however, easily blows them both away.
Brande's genius is that she doesn't really care whether you're talented or publishable, what kind of material you want to write, or whether writing is, in and of itself, an important activity. All she cares about is that, if you're reading her book, you want to write, and she's going to show you how to do it.
And she doesn't mince words: Becoming a writer, she makes clear, requires strict discipline and continuous practice. As I haven't tried her techniques yet, I can't speak to how successful they will be for me, but they certainly appear sound: forcing yourself to write on a strict schedule, in various frames of mind, and without giving yourself any excuses.
And I love the passage that ends the "Writing on Schedule" chapter: "Right here I should like to sound the solemnest word of warning that you will find in this book: If you fail repeatedly at this exercise, give up writing.
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. Even with pages and pages devoted to the writer getting in touch with his unconscious mind, there's nothing namby-pamby about "Becoming a Writer. But any publisher who wanted to modernize this book -- and I'm certainly not suggesting such be done -- could easily replace the word typewriter with computer and the words portable typewriter with laptop , and the meaning would be unchanged.
Brande also doesn't write at length on the topic. As a side note, you have to give Brande credit in her passing mentions of then-contemporary authors. She somehow was able to name-drop writers who, almost without exception, continue to be read today: Wharton, Hemingway, Forster, Wodehouse, Woolf and Ford Maddox Ford among them. Granted, those writers all were quite famous in their day, but so were many others who are no longer read. OK, I did have to look up who Kathleen Norris was, but she's the exception.
By the way, if you read the reprint of Brande's book with a foreword by John Gardner, it's completely skippable. Gardner may have had noteworthy things to say about the art of writing elsewhere, but here he doesn't add much, I'm sorry to say. No matter: "Becoming a Writer" needs no introduction, and its readers should just dive right in. View all 9 comments.
Jun 03, Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly rated it it was amazing. I read this classic, first published in , thinking it might be able to help me write well.
Instead, it merely showed me why I am not a writer. Why I cannot be a writer. Why I've stopped writing reviews here at goodreads and why I have plenty of books which I've finished reading and now find difficult to write reviews of, partly because I've lost my immediate impressions about them together with whatever it was which had kept my interest alive while reading them.
How many times have I heard th I read this classic, first published in , thinking it might be able to help me write well. How many times have I heard that in order to write well one must be a reader? This book, however, says that reading can be bad for the writing craft. It even prescribes an exercise where one is told to wake up half an hour, or a full hour, earlier than he customarily rises in the morning and, without talking, reading or doing anything else at all, just WRITE.
Write about anything and whatever comes to mind. For Dorothea Brande says that it is, at this time, in the twilight zone between sleep and full waking state, "when the unconscious is in the ascendant" that one can reap the full benefit of the "richness of the unconscious. But I have never written anything in the wee hours of the morning.
Not anything before breakfast. When I am unconscious I am out. When I am awake I am not unconscious. I grab anything I can read usually the book I've been reading the night before upon waking up; I read before, during and after breakfast, inside the toilet, inside the car on my way to work during heavy traffic.
Every single day I've never missed reading something. Worse, I've been led to believe that writers are born, not made, and that the great writers I've known were geniuses who had been gifted with this rare ability to write well with ease and spontaneity. Not true, Brande says. Anyone can write and genius can be taught and learned, and that it is precisely the belief to the contrary that stifles and kills one's innate ability to weave magic through the written word.
I also never reread. We should, Brande says. To learn from the great masters one must read their works once for pleasure and then reread them again, this time with a critical eye so we can see more clearly their beautiful creative patterns.
Of course she made no advice to those similarly situated like me with a mountain of unread books all equally demanding my attention, silently mocking me daily with the thought that I've wasted good money acquiring them, what with this certainty that I will never be able to read them all even if I reach the age of with a good eyesight.
I have not learned "to see again" "Learning to See Again," Chapter I have submitted myself spinelessly to this "dullness of apprehension" which the author labelled as "a real danger to a writer. My everyday concerns and pleasures are like antagonistic cheerleaders distracting my writing mind.
Besides, reading is much easier than writing. And I am busy. So except for this, an attempt to explain, I have ceased to write. View all 6 comments.
“Becoming a Writer” by Dorothea Brande
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Becoming a Writer
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