Journaling has been a part of my life since I was ten years old. My painfully shy rise through the politics of puberty is, thankfully, well-memorialized. It’s all there. Who said hi to me in the halls, which Olive Garden waitress seemed to think I was cool, why Jimi Hendrix was the greatest American. Mixed company gas issues. (It wasn’t me!)
I spent a lot of time in my room, scrawling my way through Mead notebooks (wide-ruled for fewer hand-cramps). I also spent a lot of time at Barnes & Noble. My parents supported my writing and they were happy to purchase a little writing book that I found: If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland.
It’s not a book about writing as much as a book about divinely-inspired creativity and living. Ueland’s thesis is that everyone is talented, original, and has something important to say. Art, she explains, is what happens when someone sees something beautiful in the world and wants to share it. Creativity, she explains matter of factly, is from the Holy Ghost.
I loved all of this, took it to heart, and never stopped writing. Journaling has been a constant joy in my life. I have no real motivation other than the fact that I like it. I’ve also dabbled in short stories (scenes really) and those are fun. I wrote a book once and it was pretty boring. But I like writing.
If you think that you are boring, untalented, and don’t have anything to say, then God, Brenda Ueland, and I all disagree with you. Very strongly.
Read this book. Write a book! Write a letter. Paint a picture. Share something. If it’s from the real you and it’s true then it’s good.