Readings for Writers: Pick of the Week 2/13/15

Every few weeks, a member of the Grub community recommends a book they find helpful or inspirational from a craft perspective. This week, Grub Instructor Debbie Sosin recommends one of her favorite books. 

One favorite book on my reading list is Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit, first published in 1938. It’s undoubtedly still popular because Ueland taps in to core truths about the writing process and the negative inner voices that sometimes get in our way. From her first chapter title, “Everybody is Talented, Original and Has Something to Say,” we’re inspired and feel less alone. She reminds us that “creative power is in all of you if you give it just a little time; if you believe in it a little bit and watch it come quietly into you; if you do not keep it out by always hurrying and feeling guilty in those times when you should be lazy and happy. Or if you do not keep the creative power away by telling yourself that worst of lies—that you haven’t any.” Wise words for new writers as well as veterans, don’t you think?

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About the Author

Debbie Sosin is a writer, writing coach, editor, teacher, and psychotherapist. Her picture book, Charlotte and the Quiet Place (Parallax Press, 2015), was named the Gold Winner in Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. The book also won the 2016 Silver Medal for Children's Picture Books (7 & Under) from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and was named a 2015 Bronze Winner by the National Parenting Publications Awards. A self-help workbook, Breaking Free of Addiction: 42 Therapeutic Tools to Help You Recover from Problem Drug and Alcohol Use, originally published by Between Sessions Resources in 2017, has been acquired by New Harbinger Publications; a new edition is forthcoming in Spring 2024. A craft essay, "The Self as Antihero in the Essays of Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, and Steve Almond," was the cover story in the Oct/Nov 2015 issue of The Writer's Chronicle. Other essays have appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Globe Magazine, Zone 3, Brevity Blog, The Manifest-Station, JMWW Journal, Writer's Digest, The Review Review, Journal News, on Salon, Cognoscenti, in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and the Perspectives in Modern History series. Since 2009, Debbie has facilitated Write It Like It Is freewriting groups in the Boston area. She also offers personal coaching, especially to work with the Inner Critic, and manuscript consultation for writers at all levels. She earned her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work and her MFA from Lesley University. Learn more at

See other articles by Deborah Sosin
by Deborah Sosin


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