Sunday, 8 May 2016

Becoming a Writer - Dorothea Brande

I bought the book as a part of the Asian writer's Becoming  a Writer course and found it invaluable.

Brande talks about the mindset of a writer and her experiences of dealing with students who want to write.

 She obviously is well experienced and knows what she is talking about. She categorises writers into slots and then talks about why they are the way they are.

The books talks about the mindset of a writer and slowly initiates the rookie into writing through various exercises.

With each chapter, there are some foolproof techniques that coax thhe writer in you into coming out and producing work.

The exercises seem quite arbitrary but eventually as you keep at it, they make sense and you realise why the book written in the 1930s still holds relevance today.

What works:

  • The style is a bit dated but the exercises are not. They are thought provoking and motivating.
  • Despite the fact it was written ages ago, it has come out in different editions, which proves its popularity and its longevity.
  • I have done all the exercises and have dipped into it time and again whenever wanted motivation. It has not failed me.
  • It is a slim volume and is not intimidating. It feels like your personal mentor is out there, coaching you and guiding you on.
What doesn't:
  • There are some things that mark the book as dated. Its reference to typewriters in a age of laptops and tablets just jar a bit. But the the way it suggests to channelise the mind and focus it on the work at hand is definitely something that struck a chord with me. 

References to the unconscious and by forcing the mind to submission to get down to the task of writing was something I could really relate to. I admit I see the Brande as a matronly figure with glasses perched up her nose with a stern look to ensure I do what I love most.

Love the book! Thanks to Asian Writer for introducing me to Brande. 

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