I have come to think that the only way to become a better writer is to become a better person. By better I don’t mean goody-goodier, for a great person often does things that so-called good people think is very bad indeed. And I have come to think there is irony in the lives of writers who sit at a desk always, tenderly or crossly protecting themselves from all disturbances, danger or uncomfortableness, so that they can work out a better literary style.

Tolstoy, Ibsen, Blake, Goethe, Thomas Mann, and all great men, known or unknown, famous or obscure – they are great men in the first place and so they cannot say anything that is not important, not a single word. Their writing, their art is merely a by-product, a cast-off creation of a great personality. – Brenda Ueland


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