the pleasant conditions of creative work

I finished reading: If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. 📚

Ueland says you can’t create anything good out of fear, griding away and trying to satsify the criticis. Instead, you must be childlike: “happy, truthful and free.”

Share things as you really see them. And you can learn to see them by taking a long, carefree walk alone everyday—a good tip, among others.

Interestingly, she talks about stifling imagination and creativity as a sin. “Menial work at the expense of all true, ardent, creative work is a sin against the Holy Ghost.” She admits that she may not be a reliable theologian, but assuming she means imagination guided by virtue, I think she has a point.

The book is about writing, but Ueland addresses all kinds of creative work. Mozart, Van Gogh and others make appearances.

So Della and I have been having fun talking about our work as artists in light of the book: painting, writing, music, etc. This way of working comes more naturally to her, but I’m learning.

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