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Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life Paperback – October 1, 1990
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From Library Journal
This book is well intended but flawed by its somewhat incoherent style, lack of good writing, and an inability or unwillingness to target an audience. The brief autobiographical chapters offer counsel and moral support to the aspiring author, with a little Zen thrown in for good measure. There are several exercises for writing practice that are useful but can be invented or found elsewhere. The cosmic angle may appeal to those with New Age inclinations, although it may annoy others. While this book is inexpensive and accessible, a work on writing ought to contain some fine examples (e.g., Strunk and White's Elements of Style, or anything by William Zinsser).
- Janice Braun, Medical Historical Lib., Yale Univ.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
"Natalie Goldberg, author of the bestselling Writing Down The Bones, teaches a method of writing that can take you beyond craft to the true source of creative power: The mind that is "raw, full of energy, alive and hungry."
Here is compassionate, practical, and often humorous advice about how to find time to write, how to discover your personal style, how to make sentences come alive, and how to overcome procrastination and writer's block -- including more than thirty provocative "Try this" exercises to get your pen moving.
And here also is a larger vision of the writer's task: balancing daily responsibilities with a commitment to writing; knowing when to take risks as a writer and a human being; coming to terms with success and failure and loss; and learning self-acceptance -- both in life and art.
Wild Mind will change your way of writing. It may also change your life.
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Top Customer Reviews
Goldberg identifies three things that all writers must do: read a lot; listen well and deeply; write a lot. Zen works from the theory of becoming whole, and this is Goldberg’s theory too. There is a Zen "interconnectedness in your writing–feel it," she says. I've been reading and reviewing lots of writing books lately and this one has not only solid advice but inspiration too.
One of the best things about this book is the chapters are short and easily digestible. For a new writer when you get to the end of one where you feel you missed the meaning, it's only an investment of a few more minutes to read it again.
There are some reviews who said this was a poor book because all it really says is to write a lot and write whatever comes to mind. Others say that it's geared toward poetry and not useful for other types of writing. I have to disagree wholeheartedly. Obviously this was not the book for them but it was absolutely the correct one for a person like me. Someone who needs to find his voice and see examples of new ways to write that have never crossed their mind before. Because of the way the book is written, I don't think it was intended for experienced writers like those reviewers seemed to be. The first chapter after the introduction is entitled, "Beginners Mind, Pen and Paper," if that tells you anything.
It is not my intention to write "The Great American Novel" as the author, Natalie Goldberg puts it. Not even the "Crumby American Novel." In fact I will likely never even attempt to get any of my work published. Goldberg gets that.
If you are a student having trouble writing English papers, a person who wants to write a journal in an intelligent way or someone like me who not only wants to record their thoughts but to do so in a way that conveys the feeling behind them while exercising the mind, "Writing Down The Bones - Freeing the Writer Within" is a must read and you should do it soon.