Becoming a Writer

Becoming a Writer : The Classic Bestseller

3.99 (5,655 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 9-14 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


A reissue of a classic work published in 1934 on writing and the creative process, Becoming a Writer recaptures the excitement of Dorothea Brande's creative writing classroom of the 1920s. Decades before brain research discovered the role of the right and left brain in all human endeavor, Dorothea Brande was teaching students how to see again, how to hold their minds still, and how to call forth the inner writer.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 127 x 210 x 13mm | 181.44g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0874771641
  • 9780874771640
  • 19,343

Table of contents

Foreword by John Gardner
In Introduction

1. The Four Difficulties
The Difficulty of Writing at All; The "One-Book Author"; The Occasional Writer; The Uneven Writer; The Difficulties Not in Technical Equipment.

2. What Writers are Like
Cultivating a Writer's Temperament; False and Real Artists; The Two Sides of a Writer; "Dissociation" Not Always Psychopathic; Everyday Examples of Dual Personality; The Slough of Despond

3. The Advantages of Duplicity
The Process of Story Formation; The "Born Writer"; Unconscious and Conscious; The Two Persons of the Writer; The Transparent Barrier; Keep Your Own Counsel; Your "Best Friend and Severest Critic"; The Right Recreation; Friends and Books; The Arrogant Intellect; The Two Selves Not at War; The First Exercise

4. Interlude: On Taking Advice
Save Your Energy; Imagination Versus Will in Changing Habits; Displacing Old Habits; A Demonstration; The Right Frame of Mind

5. Harnessing the Unconscious
Wordless Daydreams; Toward Effortless Writing; Double Your "Output"

6. Writing on Schedule
Engaging to Write; A Debt of Honor; Extending the Exercise; Succeed, or Stop Writing

7. The First Survey
Reading Your Work Critically; The Pitfalls of Imitation; Discovering Your Strength; A Footnote for Teachers

8. The Critic at Work on Himself
A Critical Dialogue
Be Specific in Suggestions
Correction After Criticism
The Conditions of Excellence
Dictating a Daily Regime

9. Readings as a Writer
Read Twice
Summary Judgment and Detailed Analysis
The Second Reading
Points of Importance

10. On Imitation
Imitating Technical Excellence
How to Spend Words
Counteracting Monotony
Pick Up Fresh Words

11. Learning to See Again
The Blinders of Habit
Causes of Repetitiousness
Recapturing Innocence of Eye
A Stranger in the Streets
The Rewards of Virtue

12. The Source of Originality
The Elusive Quality
Originality Not Imitation
The "Surprise Ending"
Honesty, the Source of Originality
Trust Yourself
"Your Anger and My Anger"
One Story, Many Versions
Your Inalienable Uniqueness
A Questionnaire

13. The Writer's Recreation
Busmen's Holidays
Wordless Recreation
Find Your Own Stimulus
A Variety of Time-Fillers

14. The Practice Story
A Recapitulation
The Contagiousness of Style
Find Your Own Style
The Story in Embryo
The Preparatory Period
Writing Confidently
A Finished Experiment
Time for Detachment
The Critical Reading

15. The Great Discovery
The Five-Finger Exercises of Writing
The Root of Genius
Unconscious, Not Subconscious
The Higher Imagination
Come to Terms with the Unconscious
The Artistic Coma and the Writer's Magic

16. The Third Person, Genius
The Writer Not Dual But Triple
The Mysterious Faculty
Releasing Genius
Rhythm, Monotony, Silence
A Floor to Scrub

17. The Writer's Magic
X Is to Mind as Mind to Body
Hold Your Mind Still
Practice in Control
The Story Idea as the Object
The Magic in Operation
Inducing the "Artistic Coma"

In Conclusion: Some Prosaic Pointers
Have Two Typewriters
At the Typerwriter: WRITE!
For Coffee Addicts
Coffee Versus Maté
Book and Magazine Buying

show more

About Dorothea Brande

Born in Chicago, Dorothea Brande (1893-1948) was a widely respected journalist, fiction writer, and writing instructor. Brande is widely known for her enduring guide to the creative process, Becoming a Writer, originally published in 1934 and still popular today. In 1936, Brande published a masterwork of practical psychology, Wake Up and Live! The book entered more than 34 printings and sold more than 1 million copies. For many years, Wake Up and Live!, with its simple and sound advice for personal excellence, rivaled the popularity of contemporaneous works such as Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and Influence People.
show more

Rating details

5,655 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 39% (2,213)
4 32% (1,818)
3 20% (1,118)
2 6% (344)
1 3% (162)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X