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Writing Down The Bones

Updated on October 7, 2013

Why I Love Writing Down the Bones

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is one of my favorite books on writing. I have read and reread the book over and over through the years. To me, the most important thing about reading a book on the craft of writing is that it makes me want to pick up a pen or turn on my computer and write. Yes, it has to be engaging, and yes hopefully it will teach me something new or help me approach an old process with a new frame of mind, but what I love are the books that light a fire under me.

At the top of my list is the book that I have highlighted the most sections and written the most margin notes in. My copy is dog-eared and worn (I've been thinking of buying a new one lately, but my books is so loved that I have to keep it). Writing Down the Bones is a book that I have seen referenced over and over, and upon reading it I understood why.

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"Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open."

Writing Down the Bones

by Natalie Goldberg

About Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg is the author of nine books, as well as being a poet, painter, and teacher of writing in Northern New Mexico. She is Buddhist, and her books and teaching explore the art of writing as a Zen practice.

Her website features information on her newest book, tour schedule, classes and workshops, as well as her selection of books. Ms. Goldberg's book focuses primarily on writing practice-- the mere act of sitting down with pen and paper and just letting the writing flow.

About Writing Down the Bones

Writing Down the Bones is different from many of the other books on writing that are out there. This book isn't an instruction manual on what elements you need to write a novel. Instead, it is about the practice of writing. The book focuses on sitting down every day and using a journal to practice. After all, you wouldn't expect to do anything else without practice. Why should writing be any different?

If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for? Writing Down the Bones is available on Amazon in a number of formats - hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audio book. You can frequently find used copies as well, if price is a concern. It is one of the classic books on writing and a great addition to any collection.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)

Writing Down the Bones is the book I pick up when I feel stuck. I find it to be inspirational and motivational. It isn't setting you on one exact path, but giving suggestions for just letting go of your inhibitions and writing.


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What did you think of Writing Down the Bones?

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Natalie Goldberg's Official Website

Are you interested in learning more about the author or Writing Down the Bones? Do you want to know when her next workshop or speaking appearance will be? Natalie Goldberg's official website contains all the information you could want.

More books by Natalie Goldberg - Vote for your favorites, or add any I missed.

Writing Down the Bones isn't the only great book on writing that Natalie Goldberg has written. These other books make a wonderful collection. If you've already read Writing Down the Bones, I suggest picking up Wild Mind next!

Fiction by Natalie Goldberg

While Natalie Goldberg is most known for Writing Down the Bones and her other books on writing, she has the experience to write these books because she is a professional poet and writer. Her novel, Banana Rose, follows Nell Schwartz as she learns about painting and love. There are many elements to the novel that echo Ms. Goldberg's own life and the lessons that she teaches in her nonfiction work.

Banana Rose
Banana Rose

Are you looking for a little more insight into the mind that created Writing Down the Bones? While this is a novel and not autobiography, there are many realistic details that seem to be pulled from Ms. Goldberg's life. Plus, you can learn a lot from someone by their fiction and creativity!


Is Writing Down the Bones your favorite Natalie Goldberg book? Or is another one your favorite? Leave your thoughts and comments here!

Have you read any of Natalie Goldberg's work?

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    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      4 years ago from Colorado

      I have this book in my library and return to it whenever I need to release my inner writer.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Writing Down the Bones appears to be a book the poet in me would appreciate reading.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 

      6 years ago

      I've been wanting to read this one for a long time. I should make it a priority.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I sure do identify with the statement, "Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about." Sometimes it is quite cathartic.

    • WorldVisionary3 profile image


      6 years ago

      I bought this book years ago and to date, it's still my favorite writing book. Awesome choice and thanks for putting together this helpful lens!

    • ismeedee profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't yet. But you've definitely sold me on Writing Down the Bones!


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