Becoming a Writer has ratings and reviews. Daniel said: Holy crap, Dorothea Brande, why the hell is your book almost completely forgotten?I g. In that post I mentioned Dorothea Brande’s excellent book, Becoming a Writer, and, having discovered I had never actually reviewed this. A reissue of a classic work published in on writing and the creative process, Becoming a Writer recaptures the excitement of Dorothea.

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What courage they installed in me, when I first read them! Granted, those writers all were quite famous in their day, but so were many others who are no longer read. 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. 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.

When artists get themselves in balance, both their writing and thei Without exception, this is my very favorite book on writing. So if you are to have the full benefit of the richness of the unconscious you must learn to write easily and smoothly when the unconscious is in the ascendant. 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 becomng this rare ability to write well with ease and spontaneity.

No trivia or quizzes yet. April 13, at 3: May 27, James rated it it was amazing. Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open Brane genius keeps all his days the vividness and intensity of interest that a sensitive child feels in his expanding world.

Why I cannot be a writer. The rest of the book tells us how, exactly, to tap the wealth of the unconscious mind.

Initially, some of these may seem arbitrary, meaningless, becominy, even a little odd. Criticism and rejection are not personal insults, but your artistic component will not know that. These two strange and arbitrary performances—early morning writing, and writing by prearrangement—should be kept up till you write fluently at will.


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. Besides, reading is much easier than writing.

By the way, if you read the reprint of Brande’s book with a foreword by John Gardner, it’s completely skippable. I know it can only bring positive change into my life.

Afterward you will find yourself disinclined to go with the laborious process of writing that story at full length; unconsciously you will becomnig it as already done, a twice-told tale. It’s only now that I realise I can’t. I like especially her chapter 5, Harnessing the Unconscious: 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.

Too many of us allow ourselves to go about wrapped in our personal problems, walking blindly through our days with our attention all given to some petty matter of no particular importance. The first clue is in the title. Brande is hecoming that only after you get those two halves working together will you produce your best work. More importantly, it doroghea surpasses even the most famous and best-loved books on writing that have come since. If that moment has already passed, worry not.

Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande

This, if at all possible, is the book you should read before you even contemplate immersion in the techniques of the trade. References to this book Small-Scale Research: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. 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.

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. Long before introspection became the norm in our society, Ms. How many times have I heard th I read this classic, first published inthinking it might be able to help me write well.


I’ve loved this book for the last 15 years. In addition, there are two other rooms: As beginners, this huge bulk of work on how to perform the miracle many of us see as writing, can seem very daunting. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

In the last few years I have had five books published, before that dororhea has been journalism and a few short stories. I would not hesitate to take writing advice from Dorothea Brande, for the simple reason that her own writing is so elegant and clear. Related articles I Can’t Get Started. If that moment has already passed, worry not.

And she doesn’t mince words: Bursts of work are not what you are out to establish as your habit, but a good, steady, satisfying flow, rising occasionally to an sriter level of performance, but seldom falling below what you have discovered is your own normal output. Act as if it were impossible to fail.

Becoming a Writer

Brande describes convincingly the interplay between the unconscious and the conscious mind, for the latter does have a role to play in he process or writing.

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. John Gardner Foreword by. 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.

To buy the book: This is something I have always done without really knowing why — it just seemed to work better for me that way. Jul 23, Anton rated it it was amazing Shelves: