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:
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is the first Stephen King book I’ve ever read. I’ve watched many of his movies on SyFy since I was a little girl and they scared the shit out of me so I decided not to read his books. If the movies are scary, then the books would be worse. My imagination would haunt me, I feared. Because I want to be a writer, and since I’ve heard and read great reviews about this book, I decided to give it a try.
King said that he would keep this one short and to the point. He did. He opened with a short memoir of his life, touching on those events that contributed to his writing and his development as a writer. He then included a brief section on developing a “writer’s toolbox,” which led to another section that discusses writing – how to start, continue, and develop your writing.
King’s answer to these questions is to write, and keep writing, and to read.
Great advice. I find it a bit intimidating. I always go into my scheduled writing sessions intimidated and clam up. I sit and stare at a blank page or screen because I can think of nothing good to write. But the important thing to do is write. So now, after reading this book, I’ve decided to write until something good comes out. If I don’t think it’s good today, it’s possible that I might think it’s great tomorrow.