With nearly one million copies of the book Writing Down the Bones in print, Natalie Goldberg has helped change the way writing is practiced in homes, schools, and workshops across America.
Here is a new collector's edition of this modern classic as you have never heard it before, read by Natalie Goldberg herself and then infused with her most personal reflections about this "magic manual" for all writers. Try these ingenious, Zen-based exercises to expand your writing skills - or just for fun.
© Natalie Goldberg; (P) Sounds True
I almost passed on this gem after reading all the negative reviews here, so it feels like a duty to add the positive. Natalie Goldberg is not an actress who portrays an author in order to appease audiences; she is the actual author. This book provides genuine coaching from an actual writing coach. It is less about appearances and more about substance. She reads the chapters that she wrote two and a half decades ago, then elaborates afterward as an older and wiser writer. The writing is informative, language is lovely, and perspective is helpful for anyone who LOVES to write. She sounds like an older Jewish lady from New York. So what? She is.
I agree Goldberg's voice is difficult to get used to. I am glad that I had read all the reviews before I bought this. I think you have to make friends with Natalie and listen like you would to a wise friend or grandmother. Her information is good and informative. Not everything will apply to everyone. She is kinda outlandish at times. But again, how badly do you want to write your best stuff? If you want to write better, then get over the voice and listen anyway.
I love her voice. I’m a big fan of authors reading their own work, in general — it adds a lot for me. Remember that Goldberg has successfully taught writing for decades and has formed countless writers; this is the voice that she teaches in. It’s her voice. It’s her. It’s a no-nonsense, warm, down-to-earth New York voice. It’s a voice that contains sensible reminders for us all.
This is a classic book for writers, teaching how to explore the creative process of writing. I have read the book, and just recently had the great pleasure of enjoying the audio book version read by Natalie. She reads in a wonderful, personal manner, like sharing great secrets.
The best part of the audio version, she frequently will stop after reading a passage and talk about what it's like to read a passage 15 years after writing it. She offers great insights to what it is like to age as a writer.
Highly recommended. Enjoy!
This author has a voice for pen and paper. I'd heard good things about this book, and certainly found value in the first chapter or so, but found I simply couldn't bring myself to listen any more without wanting to tear my ears out. There's a reason good authors give the audio rendition of their work to professionals.
Consult any article on learning how to write and this book will come up. In truth, this book should be called "Zen and the Art of Journaling." Goldberg seamlessly infuses his personal practice of zen meditation with the art of writing. Let me tell you something straight up: this is NOT a "how to write" book. It is more a guide on how to spiritually benefit from and energize your writing. There are plenty of writing exercises and insights for the aspiring writer to enjoy in this book, but Goldberg's main focus is how to be in the now and then write in the now. The more I listened I realized how her perspectives were best used for poets and anyone who likes to journal. Sure, keeping a journal will help the writer develop their voice. But this is really a guide to get a closer, more intense spiritual experience from your writing. Even if you're not into Zen, the insights that Goldberg offers are well worth your time.
In this edition, Goldberg revisits her own text, adding additional ideas and experiences she's had in the 30 years since it was originally published. The problem is this is where the audio production fails. I can't tell what is the book and what is a current insight. Not that it matters much, but Goldberg's delivery is constant throughout the recording so it's impossible to tell where the book stops and her current thoughts begin.
This is a decent book for the aspiring writer to pick up and get a little energy boost, but don't expect any earth-shattering insights into the practice of writing. Go to Stephen King's "On Writing" for that. Also, I've listened to some live recordings of Goldberg's lectures and they are far more entertaining and interesting than this book. She has learned a lot in 30 years, so while it's good to revisit the original text here, I think her more recent insights will probably be more valuable. Just my $0.02.
Inspirational and challenging.
If you want to write by Barbara Ueland's "If You Want to Write" and "Writting Down the Bones" give experienced and new writers great advice for building confidence as a writer and supportive personal stories of their own growth and journey as writers. The writing world is much less lonely with Goldberg and Ueland by your side.
Anyone that has the desire to put pen to page should pick up this book. Somewhere in the pages you will find a spark, an idea that will get you writing. All around wonderful book.
Great book but awful voice for reading. She sounds like she's on her way to a funeral or she's trying so hard to talk slow that she sounds drugged. And, monotone. Don't listen to it - just read it. Save yourself the headache.
I listened to the book while at working in my studio on images so not with 100% intensity but i will definitely listen to it again. It's my first introduction to Natalie Goldberg and I think she's great, I really enjoyed her voice, I understand it's not everybody's voice but I really enjoyed listening to her read. I think her advice is wonderful, I particularly enjoyed hearing the two voices of her younger self and self in the present reflecting on book, much wisdom is here for writers and for anyone wishing to engage in the world more deeply.
"Inspirational and Useful"
This is narrated by the author, which gives much more meaning to the personal anecdotes. it's less about the practical "how" of writing, and more about the"why". Having said that, there is plenty of advice on how to stick with it, and I'm surprised her instructions for timed writing aren't as well known as Julia Cameron's morning pages as a technique for would-be writers. As a special edition, this audio book has extra commentary by the author at the end of each chapter, and an excellent interview at the end. may be the inspiration you need to keep on keeping on.
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