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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer…
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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library) (original 1986; edition 2010)

by Natalie Goldberg

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3,601481,463 (4.04)51
Member:Shellington92
Title:Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)
Authors:Natalie Goldberg
Info:Shambhala (2010), Edition: 1 Expanded, Hardcover, 288 pages
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Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (1986)

  1. 20
    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (VictoriaPL)
  2. 20
    Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (sturlington)
  3. 10
    If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland (Z-Ryan)
  4. 00
    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki (sturlington)
    sturlington: Goldberg is a practicing Buddhist. Her book references this one, and both are structured in a similar way and focus on the concept of practice.
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» See also 51 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
I read maybe half of this ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Inhaled alot of Natalie Goldberg's books during a few-year span. Loved her zen view of life. ( )
  afinch11 | Aug 19, 2013 |
I'm not a writer, but sometimes I think that I would like to write, just for myself. I'm always fascinated by books about writing. In this one, Natalie Goldberg takes a Zen approach to writing. She encourages everyday practice and close observation. She talks about writing until you get to first thoughts, unfiltered by an internal editor. This isn't a nuts and bolts book, but instead it suggests a general approach to writing and to life.

One quote, in an interview at the back of the expanded edition, really spoke to me. Goldberg said, "Daily life is very seductive. Weeks go by and we forget who we are." That happens to me all the time. So, since I started the book, I've tried to take at least ten minutes a day to write and focus. And I've tried to pay more attention to daily life so that I have something to write about. ( )
1 vote porch_reader | Apr 27, 2013 |
Reading Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott struck me as reading two very similar books from two distinct voices. Writing Down The Bones is a personal reflection on the craft and what works for Goldberg and might work for you. It's easy to digest, coming in short chapters, and it really does make you think about what you write, how you sit down to work, whether you're really dedicated to writing. The allusions to Buddhism and Judaism and how they affect her writing are also interesting. Some of her advice seems contradictory, but really it's just that it comes from different places in the process. Some of it is the average advice you get from all writers -- keep a notebook, take it everywhere, write in it every day, just as an example -- but coupled with her experience of doing that.

I felt like it was a little bit repetitive and it didn't focus much on what to do with the writing once you've done it, but it was still worth reading. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Writing Down the Bones Freeing the Writer Within is an enjoyable read and offers many practical ideas for writing practice.

While the point of the book is definitely to make one less anxious about writing, it made me slightly more nervous only because I hadn't realized I had to decided to try writing until I actually checked out the book, took it home, and started reading it.

Still, everything in the book is designed to keep the reader/writer from building writing up to a point that it is difficult to write and judging herself. It seemed to be sensible advice, and I was never bored reading, but we'll see if it works if I actually get anything written. ( )
  alwright1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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Dedication
For all my students past, present, and future and for Kate Green and Barbara Schmitz.

May we all meet in heaven cafe writing for eternity.
First words
Foreword:

Some years ago, while cleaning out my grandmother's attic, I came across this motto encased in an old oak picture frame: Do Your Work As Well As You Can and Be Kind.
Introduction:

I was a goody-two-shoes all through school.
Quotations
This is why it is good to remember: if you want to get high, don’t drink whiskey; read Shakespeare, Tennyson, Keats, Neruda, Hopkins, Millay, Whitman, aloud and let your body sing.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0877733759, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:35 -0400)

Offers advice on writing creatively, discusses the importance of discipline, and suggests writing exercises.

(summary from another edition)

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