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:

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Books on Writing, or—about Literature: Anne Lamott, Kevin J. Hayes, Dorothea Brande

“…good writing is about telling the truth.”

I have an annoying habit of immersing myself in books on literature and writing when I want to make myself commit to writing. It’s a trap I always fall into since I hardly notice when it occurs. It sneaks up on me and gradually distracts me from my self-appointed assignment until I totally give up on it and instead gorge on literature and writing books. Such was the case recently when I decided to read Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott, A Journey through American Literature by Kevin J. Hayes, and Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande.

The way this habit of mine begins is by whispering to me that since I need to improve my talent before attempting to write, I must first do some research. After all, research always helps to point a person in the right direction. I find this statement to be true so I go along with the suggestion. I began with Lamott’s Bird by Bird.

“Not enough!” my devilish habit exclaimed. So I went ahead and began reading Hayes’ A Journey through American Literature. My habit was appeased for the moment.

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