Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Natalie Goldberg.

Natalie Goldberg Natalie Goldberg > Quotes


Natalie Goldberg quotes (showing 1-30 of 142)

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn't matter. . . Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp's half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer's task to say, "It is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a café when you can eat macrobiotic at home." Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don't wait.”
Natalie Goldberg
“If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“Writers end up writing about their obsessions. Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released.”
Natalie Goldberg
“I write because I am alone and move through the world alone. No one will know what has passed through me... I write because there are stories that people have forgotten to tell, because I am a woman trying to stand up in my life... I write out of hurt and how to make hurt okay; how to make myself strong and come home, and it may be the only real home I'll ever have.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.”
Natalie Goldberg
“No matter what a person does to cover up and conceal themselves, when we write and lose control, I can spot a person from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina a mile away even if they make no exact reference to location. Their words are lush like the land they come from, filled with nine aunties, people named Bubba. There is something extravagant and wild about what they have to say — snakes on the roof of a car, swamps, a delta, sweat, the smell of sea, buzz of an air conditioner, Coca-Cola — something fertile, with a hidden danger or shame, thick like the humidity, unspoken yet ever-present.

Often when a southerner reads, the members of the class look at each other, and you can hear them thinking, gee, I can't write like that. The power and force of the land is heard in the piece. These southerners know the names of what shrubs hang over what creek, what dogwood flowers bloom what color, what kind of soil is under their feet.

I tease the class, "Pay no mind. It's the southern writing gene. The rest of us have to toil away.”
Natalie Goldberg
“Anything we fully do is an alone journey.”
Natalie Goldberg
“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.”
Natalie Goldberg
“Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make it so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, or drop a jar of applesauce.”
Natalie Goldberg
“My goal is to write every day. I say it is my ideal. I am careful not to pass judgment or create anxiety if I do not do it. No one lives up to his ideal.”
Natalie Goldberg
“Nobody cares much whether you write or not. You just have to do it”
Natalie Goldberg
“I don't think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories-of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“Anything you do fully is an alone journey.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones
“Writing practice brings us back to the uniqueness of our own minds and an acceptance of it. We all have wild dreams, fantasies, and ordinary thoughts. Let us to feel the texture of them and not be afraid of them.Writing is still the wildest thing I know.”
Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life
“Writers are great lovers. They fall in love with other writers. That's how they learn to write. They take on a writer, read everything by him or her, read it over again until they understand how the writer moves, pauses, and sees. That's what being a lover is: stepping out of yourself, stepping into someone else's skin.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“keep your hand moving”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“The things that make you a functional citizen in society - manners, discretion, cordiality - don't necessarily make you a good writer. Writing needs raw truth, wants your suffering and darkness on the table, revels in a cutting mind that takes no prisoners...”
Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir
“After you have finished a piece of work, the work is then none of your business. Go on and do something else.”
Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life
“I remember a friend many years ago who had taped a sign to his refrigerator: There's a dream dreaming us. If you try to think about what that means it makes your mind silly, but that silliness is good.”
Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life
“Writing is the act of discovery.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“Every moment is enormous and it is all we have.”
Natalie Goldberg, Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America
“Know that you will eventually have to leave everything behind; the writing will demand it of you.”
Natalie Goldberg
“As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. ...This is our life and it's not going to last forever. There isn't time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.”
Natalie Goldberg
“I think talent is like a water table under the earth—you tap it with your effort and it comes through you.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“It's okay to embark on writing because you think it will get you love. At least it gets you going, but it doesn't last. After a while you realize that no one cares that much. Then you find another reason: money. You can dream on that one while the bills pile up. Then you think: "Well, I'm the sensitive type. I have to express myself." Do me a favor. Don't be so sensitive. Be tough. It will get you further along when you get rejected.

Finally, you just do it because you happen to like it.”
Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life
“Handwriting is more connected to the movement of the heart.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“If you're having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up -- to know that there's life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can't find it anywhere else.”
Natalie Goldberg

« previous 1 3 4 5

All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Writing Down the Bones
20,008 ratings
Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life Wild Mind
5,186 ratings
Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America Long Quiet Highway
1,323 ratings
Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir Old Friend from Far Away
1,168 ratings