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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition Paperback – December 6, 2005
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"I'm convinced that none of the writers of my acquaintance can go another day without a copy of Natalie Goldberg's magical manual Writing Down the Bones."—Linda Weltner, The Boston Globe
"The secret of creativity, Natalie Goldberg makes clear, is to subtract rules for writing, not add them. It's a process of 'uneducation' rather than education. Proof that she knows what she's talking about is abundant in her own sentences. They flow with speed and grace and accuracy and simplicity. It looks easy to a reader, but writers know it is the hardest writing of all."—Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
About the Author
Natalie Goldberg is the author of ten books. Writing Down the Bones, her first, has sold over one million copies and has been translated into twelve languages. For the last thirty years she has practiced Zen and taught seminars in writing as a spiritual practice. She lives in New Mexico.
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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.