Reader Friday: Keep On Writing?

“With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has stretched your understanding. I know that. Even if I knew for certain that I would never have anything published again, [or] would never make another cent from it, I would keep on writing.” – Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write

Would you?

NOTE: This was one of the books I read early in my writing journey, and found it inspiring. As of this writing the Kindle version is just 49¢.

14 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Keep On Writing?

  1. Absolutely, simply because the stories are in my mind all the time. Day and night, the characters and their lives pop in for visits, but I have only had one book published, my first, by a New York publishing house. When I received that advance check, I had dreams of an illustrious and lucrative writing career. Many things have contributed to my not achieving that, most notably my own fear, but it hasn’t stopped me from writing. I will do that until my death, I imagine, even if I never try publishing again.

  2. Probably, no. I’ve virtually stopped writing already.

    I lost my brother and my mum within 6 months of each other back in 2020/21 and grief stopped me writing. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve returned to it, but my output is much decreased.
    Add to that, I’m 70 years old – writing is getting harder and harder as my brain fades and the impetus wanes – and I already have 22 books published.

    I shall carry on, because I still get ideas for stories, but my heart’s no longer in it. A shame, I feel.

    • Hugs! I’m so sorry. Grief has always stopped me from writing. It comes in waves and have to ride it out. Sometimes free writing helps, just letting the words leak out on the page. Passion fades but it’s never ever gone. It’s still there in the quiet moments just waiting for you when you are ready again.

  3. Never heard of this person or book but I’m buying it. Thank you.

    I’m a writer whether I ever get published again or not. (Hopefully I will, though I may have to be retired first as 80 hours a week leaves not much time to write).

  4. I would.
    Remember that Lay’s commercial where the tag line is “Betcha can’t eat just one!”?
    The stories. They’re inside wriggling and squirming to get out.
    As far as not getting published or getting paid I’m doing that already. Kinda front loading the punishment so to speak.

    With me, it’s a joie de vivre thing. When I’m on to something and I know it it’s joy. My goal for this year is to figure out how to do that consistently and up my production
    and send my inner editor on a long journey. I hear Attu or Point Barrow is very nice this time of year.

  5. In a word, yes, although maybe with less dedication to productivity. Writing is so much better than doing housework.

  6. Great question, Jim.

    Absolutely I would continue writing. I must write, just like I must breathe. My goal is to die at 101, slumped over my keyboard, having written “The End” on my last novel.

    Uleland’s book is great one on the writer’s experience and mindset. Thanks for mentioning it. I should revisit it, it’s been quite a while.

    Thanks for another thought-provoking Reader Friday.

  7. [finally? not Denied???]
    Absolutely. But for me—and I’m kinda different—it’s much more than writing. It’s the whole gestalt packaging of the thing. I like conceptualizing a story. Then sketching out the flow and arc of it. Then picturing and ultimately creating the imagery that goes along with it. And, of course, the writing. But that’s just one part for me. Then there’s the marketing… the potential licensing… and the whole—in German—Vermächtnis of it. This is my way of stretching myself to better understand the world and my part in it.

  8. Absolutely. Like reading, writing is my recreation. Racing through my characters’ stories with them as the stories unfold around us is the most fun I can have with my clothes on. There is no down side.

  9. I didn’t write for several years and I was very unhappy, but at the time, I couldn’t make myself do it. Now that I’ve been back at it for a year, even a day or two without it is too long. It’s brought me back to life. But I can also understand the difficulties with getting back into it when life brings hardships.

  10. Yes. In the words of Rain Man, “Definitely, definitely.”

    Writing doesn’t always mean books or money. Writing exists in many forms, and it’s delightful to explore them.

    I might have to get this book…thanks, Jim!


  11. Yes, absolutely. Surprisingly, I realized it doesn’t matter whether I ever get published. I write for me, to explore, deep dives into the world. Love the aha moments, the epiphanies for me and my characters. I’ll have to read Ueland’s book. (Maybe posting will work this time. I was denied access last night and thought, hmm, maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. Don’t answer that question. Nope, just a momentary glitch.

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