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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within [Paperback]

Natalie Goldberg
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within 4.0 out of 5 stars (24)
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Book Description

30 Jun 1986
Natalie Goldberg's word-of-mouth hit has sold well over half a million copies. Goldberg, who has conducted writing workshops for both beginners and professionals all over the United States, sees writing as a practice that helps us comprehend the value of our lives. With insight, humor, and practicality, she inspires writers and would-be writers alike to take the leap into writing creatively and well.


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; 1 edition (30 Jun 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877733759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877733751
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 14 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 232,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

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. --Ali Perry-Gallagher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic launch pad 15 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent introduction for anyone who's ever wanted to write fiction or poetry but was afraid to start. Its friendly tone, direct advice and focus on freewriting have an unnerving capacity to get you going and its short chapters also make it ideal for dipping into once you've finished. It's also exceedingly well-written; intriguing flashes of autobiography lift it above the mass of creative writing text books on the market.

Which isn't to say it's perfect: Goldberg's concentration on generating material means that the twin processes of crafting and drafting are rather neglected in favour of producing more and more freewrites. Anyone wishing to produce work of publishable quality as opposed to writing therapeutically for themselves will probably find that they eventually 'outgrow' it.

Nevertheless, as a book for getting started again, and as a pleasurable read, it remains the best of its kind on the market. Well worth a look.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational book for all writers. 28 Dec 1996
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book helps both experienced and potential writers with
topic ideas and suggestions. Goldberg's clear writing
style is a fantastic model. Some topic ideas she suggests
are to write about a time you were really happy, a place you
really love, a time you were really down, the most
extraordinary story you know, a story you love to tell, or a
magic moment that you remember from last week. She inspires
writers to let their creative juices flow with the following
suggestions: keep your hand moving; don't cross out; don't
worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar; lose control;
don't think; don't get logical; go for the jugular. She
makes it seem easy to write.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlearning the rules of writing 28 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
When I finished the book, it amazed me that for someone who doesn't actually teach any formal writing skills or structure, Natalie had had a profound imapct on my writing ability. But that is the beauty of Natalie's 'philosophy of writing'.
She doesn't mention structure or form; characterisation or dialogue. Instead, she takes great pains to 'unlearn' everything you may have heard or been told about writing.
Instead, you learn to trust your own creative voice - learn to seperate the 'creator' within you from the nit-picking 'editor' who wants to strike through every other word.
It is a book offering a way of living as a writer, rather than a book that dictates how to or not to write.
Thoroughly recommended, and it will continue to be an inspiration to read whenever I feel like I'll never pick up a pen again.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 5 Jun 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved the book so much I've bought copies for all my friends.
Many of the chapters pointed to problems in and solutions for my own writing. Especially liked the chapter on self doubt. Her references back to her Buddist beliefs and philosophies really caught my attention. All in all an excellent book for writers or potential writers of all levels.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 1 Sep 2000
Format:Paperback
I wish that I had read this book years ago. I feel that suddenly all the constraints that had been holding me back from writing have finally been stripped away. At last I know that it is okay for me to write and that I have something to write about.
This book has made a profound difference to my confidence in writing and I carry it around to refer to time and time again.
What an inspiration!
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126 of 156 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money 2 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've written and published five novels and two works of non-fiction. I still enjoy reading what other people have to say about the art and the craft of writing, but this book really is the most self-indulgent, self-absorbed load of old tosh I've ever read on the subject. The author's attitude is a mixture of New Age flakiness and an unpleasantly dictatorial attitude. She even tells you what kind of notebook to buy. Buy the sort of notebook YOU want, trust yourself and take advice from people who know what they're talking about, eg Dorothea Brande in Becoming A Writer and Stephen King in On Writing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring. 16 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback
I haven't had any creative writing urges for over 8 years. I bought this book with the hope that I would find these urges again. When it arrived I was not hopeful but after reading the first few sections I am truly feeling inspired. I have rekindled my love for literature and writing and it feels fantastic. Not sure i'd use it as a 'how to write' but just for getting you going again it's great!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restoring the Writer's Soul 25 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have no end of books on technique crowding my shelves. Natalie Goldberg hasn't produced another one with 'Writing Down the Bones' -- she is interested in the writer's soul, in it's continued good health. Keep this book nearby for moments of frustration, anguish, despair, boredom or confusion. Read a few chapters, do a few of the exercises, and you fall in love with your craft all over again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational!
I LOVE this book!
Every page fizzes with enthusiasm for writing and passion for life, leaving you feeling that your soul has been nourished. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Speranza
5.0 out of 5 stars TIps for the budding writers
Any ordinary reader with ambitions of writing will fall in love with the tips here for grappling the task that may appear daunting at first.
Published 12 months ago by Tissa Lionel Wellappili
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Down The Bones
Writing Down The Bones Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer within

This book revolutionised my approach to writing! Read more
Published on 6 Feb 2010 by Mrs. Sharon Meiring-jones
4.0 out of 5 stars satisfied customer
this book arrived in good condition and in good time.
would buy from this seller again.
Published on 24 July 2009 by Buxton
5.0 out of 5 stars Natalie My Guru
Warm, witty, fun, and above all, one of the best books on the market for new and not so new writers. Follow Natalie's advice and you won't go wrong - you will fly. Read more
Published on 2 May 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars Become one with the page
Follow the advice that Ms Goldberg gives and let yourself become one with the page. There is no paper, no hand, no pen, no block. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2001 by W. Weinstein
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book you will ever need to get you writing.
This book doesn't tell you how to become a writer, nor how to write. That's because it lets you know, if you are open to it, that you already are a writer. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars superficial
This book did nothing for me. Perhaps because I read it AFTER reading Dorothea Brande's "Becoming a writer" which is so much better! Read more
Published on 14 July 2000
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