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Paperback Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Book

ISBN: 1590302613

ISBN13: 9781590302613

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

The all-time best-selling writer's handbook turns 30. With insight, humor, and practicality, Natalie Goldberg inspires writers and would-be writers to take the leap into writing skillfully and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

Not What I Expected

I ordered this book and was unhappily surprised when I received a pocket version. No where in the description did it say that it wasn't the full sized book. Now I have to find it again.

Loved this book.

I really felt like the way she explains her writing process was an epiphany for me.


This is a book which was super helpful to me in finding my voice in writing and learning to enjoy how to write. I have been a strong writer but this really helped to solidify the concepts needed especially in creative writing. I really recommend this to anyone who is a writer, or is an aspiring writer- looking for some new tips, tricks, and help sorting out your style within your writing!

A Writing Classic

Natalie Goldberg's insights about writing as a spirtual practice are just as valid today as they were in 1986 when this book was first published. Her suggestions to writers work, both for beginning writers and for writers who depend on words in order to make a living. I recommend this book to the emerging writers I mentor as a must-have reference second only to a good dictionary. As a professional writer who has written over 20 books and 500 magazine articles, I've given Writing Down the Bones away several times after mistakenly deciding that I'd outgrown it. Just as often I've had to go out and buy another copy to remind myself that there's more to the writing life than rejections, and royalties. Every time I reread it, I find something new. Last year I read Goldberg's memoir, Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America, which provides insights about how she came to her beliefs about writing and spirituality. I suggest reading both books.

Essential for wannabe and already-published writers

After years of being told "You have to write a book," I began taking my nagging friends seriously. I bought a few books on the writing process, this being one of them. And then I started writing. Three years later, my memoir, BABY CATCHER, was published by Scribner.I'm not saying Natalie Goldberg can turn everyone into a published writer. But what I AM saying is that her book can help anyone with the most difficult part of writing: sitting down and actually applying fingers to keyboard. The book has been of concrete and serious help to bazillions of writers. But it. Then apply butt to chair seat and fingers to keyboard, and write. And write. And write.

a guide to releasing your soul

I bought this book on recommendations from other writers and journal keepers, but I was openly apprehensive that it would be just another "you can do it" or worse another pontification on the divine art of writing. I couldn't have been more wrong!Of all the how-to writing books I have read, all the while looking for that one filled with honest, practical advice to help shake loose my creativity free from the confines of English class rules and order, this is the best one out there. Natalie starts out telling you that it isn't an ordered process that fuels creativity. She lets you know up front that all those rules and "regulations" that you learned in every English class you ever took don't apply in real creativity.She takes you step by step, holding your hand thruout, thru a creative storm complete with exercises designed to frighten and enlighten. In the end you realize that you are, indeed, a creative person when not confined to the traditional definitions of creativity and art.I felt I could do anything, write anything, and create anything when I was done with this book. I read it straight thru in an afternoon and then went back over the period of a week and did the exercises. I still go back, months later, re-working the exercises, reading favourite chapters, and reminding myself of the wonderful wellspring of creativity in all of us.I highly recommend this book to anyone frustrated with the traditional "this is how to be creative" books that so many of us have trudged thru in desperate hopes of finding a single grain of enlightenment. Natalie gives it to you in page after page of insight, comfort, and freedom. You won't be disappointed - unless, of course, you really do like all those ridiculous rules and regulations.

So Good I Couldn't Put It Down

When I took a creative writing course a few years ago, Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones" was a required text. It was so good I couldn't put it down.Natalie points out that all beginning writers are controlled by their "inner censor" and therefore write what they think other people want to hear, or they put a false face on their writing. Natalie does indeed "free the writer within," by giving us permission to "just write sh--" (her words,not mine). The gist of the book is this: just write. Go for volume, not quality. The quality will come as you gain experience and lose your inhibitions. Natalie says everything you write, not just the good stuff but the bad as well, creates a "compost heap of the mind." It stays in your subconscious and mellows and ripens, ready to fertilize your skills and imagination for future writing projects. I actually put Natalie's suggestions into practice and kept a writer's journal for several years (and still do), and wrote thousands of words. I feel that my writing skills did indeed improve and even shine.Natalie also discusses some things to try, like writing in different places, and discusses useful topics like metaphor and simile. Her book is not a technical manual, but rather an easy read, a personal insight into the joy and freedom from uninhibited writing. I always recommend this book first to anyone who expresses an interest in learning to write.

A very informative and in your face book.

Truly this book is going to help every single aspiring author to free the writer within. After you read it, you will want to start writing right away, and I have started doing the exercises before I even finished the book. Ms. Goldberg really has a way of reaching into your fears and anxietys about getting those words on paper, and she is a very real person with some very solid advice. A Buddhist herself, she brings some Zen wisdom into the book also, which is meaningful and helps her to succeed in her attempt to get you to pick up that pen and go! She is successful at giving you the "permission" you need and telling you how to begin. Authors suffering from "writer's block" will even find this book helpful. Those who never had an interest in writing will find they do after reading this. It's informative, there is humor, there is much straight talk, and best of all for me, it comes in an itty bitty pocket size wonder. Hurry up and get this one before word gets out and it sells out everywhere!

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Mentions in Our Blog

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Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • May 02, 2023

Happy Wordsmith Day! If you identify as a word nerd, a storyteller, an orator or a writer, then today is your day. Here are some books that celebrate the power of words and the craft of using them well.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within in NaNoWriMo Time!
NaNoWriMo Time!
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 06, 2019

Are you an aspiring author? National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, is an online writing project, which began 20 years ago in 1999. The objective? Write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November? Ready, set, go!

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