Leah's Reviews > Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
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's review
Oct 28, 09

really liked it
Read in October, 2009 — I own a copy

I'd heard a lot of good things about this book, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until now. NaNoWriMo is next month so, wanting to prepare, I figured that now would be the opportune time to read it.

The book is a series of really short chapters or essays on different aspects of writing. I read the book straight through, but one could just as easily read the chapters in any order. Although it wasn't the most cohesive book on writing I've ever read, I did find it to be very inspirational. Trained in Zen Buddhism, Natalie Goldberg draws a lot of parallels between meditation and writing. She suggests that writing in and of itself can be considered a meditative practice, and encourages writers to view it as such.

The back of the book offers praise from Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. He says, "Hundreds of books are around that tell how to avoid bad writing. Here is one that tells how to create good writing. What a pleasant surprise." I can only agree. I've read a lot of books that say what not to do, that tell the aspiring writer how to stay grammatically correct, and that basically encourage one's inner editor. Writing Down the Bones is the exact opposite, and it was quite refreshing to read something so positive.

All in all, a good book to usher me into next month! Let the writing begin!

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