Finding Inspiration in “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Seeking inspiration to start writing? Then pick up Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Goldberg encourages her readers to begin writing and stop planning to write, stop complaining that they can’t write, and stop procrastinating on their writing task. To become a writer, to be able to write, one must first begin to write.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Goldberg helps her readers buckle down and start writing by offering tips and some tricks to get started. She also quotes words of wisdom that she picked up from her Zen master, Katagiri Roshi, and applies them to the art and life of writing.

You can’t help getting swept up in this book and lifted by Goldberg’s inspiring words. By the end of it, you will immediately want to pick up a pen and begin to scribble away. Like Dorothea Brande, Goldberg makes you believe that writing is possible. All it takes is for you to get started.

I especially recommend this book for beginning writers. Goldberg makes you want to start writing and keep writing. Here are a few words of advice that stood out to me:

“Learning to write is not a linear process. There is no logical A-to-B-to-C way to become a good writer.”

“Sit down with the least expectation of yourself; say ‘I am free to write the worst junk in the world.’”

“Keep your hand moving.”

“When it is time to write, write.”

“Writers, when they write, need to approach things for the first time each time.”

“We learn to write by doing it. That simple.”

 “…this is how we should write…voraciously, letting our minds eat up everything and spewing it out on paper with great energy.”

“Let go of everything when you write, and try at a simple beginning with simple words to express what you have inside…let it come however it does. Don’t force it.”

“Learn to trust the force of your own voice.”

“Writing, too, is 90 percent listening. You listen so deeply to the space around you that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you.”

“Basically, if you want to become a good writer, you need to do three things. Read a lot, listen well and deeply, and write a lot.”

“It is the responsibility of writers to listen to gossip and pass it on. It is the way all storytellers learn about life.”

I will stop here. There are a lot more from the book that I would like to quote but I think it’s best if you pick up the book and read it for yourself. Let Goldberg inspire you.


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