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Publisher's Summary

What is writing? Can anybody do it? What's the best way to get started? And keep going? Over a decade ago, when Writing Down the Bones first appeared, Natalie Goldberg started a revolution in the way we practice writing. Instead of looking at writing as something open only to a few, she made it available to everybody. Her simple, ingenious exercises set free a generation of writers waiting to experience the inner and outer pleasures only writing can provide. Now, for the first time, Goldberg reads her classic work, while offering new commentary about the creative, spiritual, and practical dimensions of writing. This collector's edition also includes an exclusive interview with the author.
©1999 Natalie Goldberg; (P) Sounds True

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Essential for Seekers of All Kinds

Goldberg liberates us. I bought the paperback years ago as a writer's guide and found it important and inspirational. I downloaded the Audible edition when I heard some journalists on a podcast say that they listened to a little Natalie whenever they got stuck. Thus, I rediscovered Goldberg not only as a writing coach but also as a spiritual guide. Putting pen to paper can be a spiritual practice as much as a literary one. And the short chapters provide assignments to keep you at it.

I was delighted with Natalie's narration. At the end of each chapter, she gives an informal comment, based on the 30 years of distance since she originally wrote the book. She is funny and wise.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Pamela
  • Reisterstown, MD, United States
  • 12-06-11

Poor sound quality, snooze-inducing narration.

I'm glad I've also got the print edition because I'm not sure if I can get through this book on audio. First, the recording sounds like the microphone was under a blanket. Muffled.

Second, the author/narrator has no zest or pizzazz in her voice. Because of the subject, it is like listening to your grandmother read a cookbook or from the telephone book. Zzzzzzz. Except for a very VERY few high points.

I've always enjoyed writing. Began journaling as a pre-teen, and have blogged, etc. on and off since then. I've wanted to put my own story to paper for a few years now. I remember listening to this book years ago (on cassette tape).

Third, I'd forgotten how very anit-inspiring it is. Her method in a nutshell: You must spend years just writing, writing, writing. Filling notebooks with words, by hand, be it trash or treasure, before you can hope to be a "good" writer.

I'm sure I'll glean something useful from the print copy I've got, but I'm not likely to listen to the whole recording.

  • Overall

Love the Content, Hate the Narration

Great, practical advise if you're a writer, real nuts and bolts. The author narrates though, and her narration is monotonous and irritating. Sound quality is also poor. I'm less than 25% of the way through and heartily wish I had bought it in print. Listen to the sample before purchasing to help determine if the content more than makes up for the bad narration.

  • Overall
  • Lynn
  • Omaha, NE, United States
  • 01-18-11

Writing Down the Bones

Writing Down the Bones is not just another book on how to write. Goldberg dives deep and inspires the reader to find their authentic self in a writing practice. She moves the reader in an inspirational dance that will leave you with tools and insight that will help develop the writer within and produce results. Goldberg brings the book to life and you feel like you are present in her writing workshops. I refer to it often and find I enjoy her stories as much as her teaching of the practice. It is nothing less than a 5 star book!

  • Overall

This book is like an old friend

I read this book around 20 years ago and some of the writing principles I learned from it have stuck with me through the years. Since I am currently doing a sort of personal survey of many books on writing, I thought I would reacquaint myself with the first book on creative writing I ever read. I was not disappointed with this audio edition.

Generally, I prefer the author not be the reader of his or her own audio book - the professional readers pleasanter listening. Therefore, I was a little dismayed at first to find out Natalie would be reading her own book. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised. It did not take me long to get used to her voice and it turned out to be fitting, pleasant, and warmly sincere. As a neat bonus, Natalie includes an updated commentary on each chapter as an older woman looking back at her younger self. She confirms the techniques that are still valuable, and talks about how her ideas have played out over the years in her own writing.

As a student and practitioner of Buddhism, Natalie's central idea is writing as a meditative practice. She gently explains how to use writing practice tap into our personal resources to find out what we really want to say. The focus of the book is really how to get the writing process going in your life and how to keep it going, but she also talks about how to keep our writing from moldering in a pile of notebooks and getting out there to be read. Refreshingly, she keeps the art and practice of writing separate from technology: her tools are her mind, her experiences, and her pens and notebooks. I found this book inspiring the first time I read it and it continues to be a source of encouragement and inspiration for my own writing.

  • Overall

Some good advice, but not much

She displays a lack of regard for the time and attention of the reader by including too many mundane thoughts.
The stories she uses as examples are boring and conveyed in a monotone voice.
I found some of the information helpful, but consider her advice best suited for people who write for a hobby and not for a living.
She spends a good bit of time on meditation and such. If you need a book on how to meditate, choose another. This book is more likely to put you into a deep sleep.

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Highland Park, IL, USA
  • 12-25-07

Inspiration to write

Highly recommended for people who want to write, but who are suffering from crises of self-confidence. The author's approach is practical and inspiring, esp. if you feel like you've got a bad case of writer's block. Very down to earth narration.

  • Overall

Great Book

As as a graduate student I found this book very helpful for getting my mind set to write. Listening to this on my ipod is like going through a guided meditation on writting

  • Overall
  • Erwin
  • Jacksonville, FL, USA
  • 12-01-03

Writing Down the Bones stacks up

Great audio book experience.

2 of 10 people found this review helpful