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

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

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bookshelves: in, 2009, writing

I've seen this book mentioned time and again for being a huge inspiration to writers. I lucked out and found a copy at Goodwill recently; it is a first edition, so therefore it may not be the exact same as the current edition.[return][return]The full title of the book is Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. That sums up the book very well. Goldberg draws heavily on her Buddhist faith (mixed with her Jewish background) to show how mindlessness and freedom help a writer to actually write. Discipline is part of this freedom. She encourages the reader to write everyday and pull inspiration from common objects, and to keep writing even when everything seems like complete drivel.[return][return]I've read several books on this subject. Writing Down the Bones may have been the first of this sort in the mid-'80s, but there are several other more recent books I feel I connected with more strongly - Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and The Mind of Your Story by Lisa Lenard-Cook. I loved how Goldberg connected the fundamentals of Zen Buddhism with writing, and I really wish that could have been more prevalent. In all, it's a good book, and one with hundreds of inspirational quotes for writers... but it's not necessarily the best available.

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