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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic launch pad
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...
Published on 15 Nov 2006 by A reader

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127 of 158 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money
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...
Published on 2 Nov 2003


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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic launch pad, 15 Nov 2006
By 
A reader (brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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
This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (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
This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (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
By 
D. Fenton "davef_uk" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
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
By 
K. Williams "CrazyKat" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Down the Bones is a marvelous book!, 10 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
I was trying to write my first short story in English, (I'm Swedish), and I was having immense difficulty getting started. A friend of mine told me this book saved her life as a writer once, and so I borrowed it at the library. After one chapter I knew I needed my own copy; the book just gripped me, told me I could write, because it didn't matter how I wrote, how long it was, how good... You write for yourself. Natalie Goldberg showed me not how to write, but how to relax in my writing, be myself. It is not a book for someone who wants to be instructed in "how to write a short story", or "how to write poetry". But then, if you let yourself be instructed in how to write, you can never be a real writer. Natalie Goldberg showed me all the little things that are so wonderful about being a writer. Sitting in a coffee shop, sipping a mocha freeze with your friend, writing about everything and nothing; getting up before everyone else, and sip in the beautiful solitude and the silence, and filter them into your writing... Writing Down the Bones is a book for every writer.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Void and Out With Ideas, 17 Jun 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
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. There is the void, the silence, and the act of creation and when you stop, there is your novel, complete and perfect before you on the page.
Well, alright, perhaps not perfect but this marriage of Zen and common sense, beautifully written and blazingly clear, is a wonderful manual for any writer.Indeed for anyone that takes a moment to look at the world around them, anyone who does more than simply move unthinkingly through their life like a robot, this book is a rare delight.
Once read thoroughly, it can be used randomly as an antidote to writer's block. Open almost any page and begin reading to feel the log jam in your cortex start to shift and jostle. Your fingers flex, your eye sparkles. The words tumble over themselves as ideas outpace your hand and your writing becomes a hellish scrawl. Buy a computer and take a speed typing course.
My thanks to Ms Goldberg for a truly inspirational book.
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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
This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring., 16 Feb 2008
By 
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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127 of 158 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money, 2 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
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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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg (Paperback - 30 Jun 1986)
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