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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Paperback – February 2, 2016
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Wherein we discover that many of the "rules" for good writing and good sex are the same: Keep your hand moving, lose control, and don't think. Goldberg brings a touch of both Zen and well... *eroticism* to her writing practice, the latter in exercises and anecdotes designed to ease you into your body, your whole spirit, while you create, the former in being where you are, working with what you have, and writing from the moment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA Goldberg will catch readers interested in writing with her opening confession that she was a ``goody-two-shoes all through school'' and should hold them until she pulls the last page from her typewriter, one ``Sunday night at eleven.'' Part writing guide, part Zen philosophy, and part personal diary, this book has the smooth, fast flow of a conversation with a good friend who, while struggling with her own writing, has picked up more than a few tips that she eagerly shares. Definitely not another ``how to write better themes'' or a rehash of the writing process, Goldberg's short, quirky chapters give the finer points of how to write in a restaurant and why bother to write at all. The earnest, slightly Bohemian, occasionally vulnerable voice will endear her to young writers who are looking not so much for a teacher or text as for validation that they can write and for some simple but intriguing tips to get them started. While there are the required chapters on using detail and keeping a journal, the most important thing Goldberg has to say to young people is that ``we have lived. Our moments are important. This is what it is to be a writer: to be the carrier of details that make up history. ''Carolyn Praytor Boyd, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It didn't take long to lose the resistance at all. Writing Down the Bones is a gem of a listen, it's like the oddest little ear candy ever. Her steady metronome style of speaking is filled with rules of engagement, with kindness, and with some arguments to counter your own self when you meet your true resistance. This was written well before the marketing / writing / promoting self-help boom came along, and thank goodness. Natalie Goldberg's book is entirely without jargon and tactics, god how I hate that word now, and yet it is a complete guide to "writing your asses off." I lived in Boulder and went to Naropa and everyone and their dog was all agog over Writing Down the Bones. It reminded me of being in junior high when all of the girls in my grade were going crazy over Flowers In the Attic, which did nothing for me. As a result, ok years later as an adult, I found fault with the title - I hated it actually. And then refused to read it. My own loss.
Thankfully, years and years later I was making another long commute in the car, and had run out of things to listen to. Radio reception in the mountains, late at night, meant being hostage to the 3 stations that had no static: orchestral music and Jesus channels. No thank you. I grabbed Writing Down the Bones cassette pack (remember those?) from the library in haste... OK already, I yelled at myself. And popped in the tape and began my drive. It was a delightful late night drive that left me energized, alert, optimistic. She sprinkles in bits about her Buddhist practice which informed her writing of the book, without relying on too much woo, for those of you who think Buddhism is for the birds. It reminded me of my own really haphazard practice of Maitri, which means loving kindness. If you listen to Writing Down the Bones, you are engaging in an act of loving kindness to yourself. And if you allow yourself to take that extra step of actually writing, you're deepening that experience. Or, that's how I take it. You might actually also have a story to show for it. I've gone through the cassettes numerous times. And this is actually my 2nd purchase of the mp3 file since I couldn't recall the account and password I'd used for the first purchase. It's worth it to me to have Natalie Goldberg handy in my back pocket. You might think so, too.
(I bought two new copies through Amazon. I used them in teaching my writing class. Delivery was so quick and the books were brand new "used" from a secondary- Amazon seller. What great service!)
This is the second time I have owned this book. When I had it the first time, I did the writing practice, and it turned me into a verbal monster!