Best Audience: Writers who want to improve their practice, regardless of their style and content, and deepen the creativity of their work.
I found Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg while attending a class at The Loft Literary Center many years ago. It was a recommended title for those of us who found ourselves blocked when we sat down to the page. I decided to pick it up and give it a try. More than a decade later, Writing Down the Bones is still on my shelf and still one I come back to when I need a wee-reminder not to let all the rules get in the way of good writing.
Goldberg offers a long and entertaining series of short essays about stripping away the many rules we’ve built up around writing. Although many of those rules are ones I’d already ignored by the time I picked up Writing Down the Bones, reading Goldberg’s take on them gave me more solid ground to stand on, so to speak. Flouting the rules, especially when I was in my 20s, came easily on the surface but underneath it all I secretly believed each and every one of them wholeheartedly. My youthful rebellion was all a front.
I love that Goldberg’s essays are as relevant today, even after the many years of practice I’ve had, as they were back then. Her style is easy and engaging. She cuts away the fat and gets right to the heart of what it is to write creatively, even when the writing you’re doing is memoir or non-fiction. I recommend Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg to all writers, beginning or experienced, who long to crack open their work and harvest the best it has to offer.
Bottom Line: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.
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