Friday, August 7, 2009

Why Write?

**************I'm rereading a tiny book that I originally read in December of 2006. Its title is WRITING DOWN THE BONES; the author is Natalie Goldberg.

If the thought of writing intrigues you but you're apprehensive to start, I suggest you get your hands on this two by three by one inch volume. Perhaps this masterpiece is available in other forms but mine is the Shambhala Pocket Classics version. I forgot to mention, the words "Freeing the Writer Within" are printed below the book title on the cover.

Ann Linquist, instructor of Beginning Writer's Workshop (an ed2go online class) included WRITING DOWN THE BONES on her recommended reading list. Unlike some books on writing, Natalie's motivates and inspires possible writers to pick up their pens and put words on paper. She doesn't teach the technical rules and mechanics of the process; she encourages readers to give themselves a chance to pursue their dreams.

If you're looking for the courage to begin to write, for the benefits of writing and even for the motivation to continue writing if you're discouraged, I hope you'll pick up a copy of WRITING DOWN THE BONES.

A handful of the chapter titles included are: Beginner's Mind, Pen and Paper; Man Eats Car; Writing is not a McDonald's Hamburger; Be Specific; Be an Animal; Write Anyplace; Blue Lipstick and a Cigarette Hanging Out Your Mouth; Rereading and Rewriting; and I Don't Want to Die. As the titles indicate, Natalie writes with knowledge and humor.

I believe Natalie has the power in her words to convince anyone to write, even those who don't have any desire to do so. She makes the reader feel like it's as essential as breathing. For those of us who write regularly, we're at odds if we're unable to put our thoughts and feelings into words on paper or elsewhere.

I've reached page 23 of the 305 pages as I reread Goldberg's book. It's been 3 years since I initially nestled it in my hands and felt Natalie's passion so it's a extremely pleasant experience once again.

Have you read it or do you think you will?


Gullible said...

Yup, yup! Got the same tiny volume--the one that fits oh-so-fine in my hands.

Beth Westmark said...

I agree. Fantastic book. I also love Stephen King's book called "On Writing," and Natalie Goldberg's latest, called "Old Friend From Far Away" about memoir writing. It's awesome.

Shaddy said...

Gully: I wish all books were compact like that.

Beth: I read Stephen King's book on writing and loved it too. I'll have to get Natalie's latest ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Ok, that's creepy. I just began reading "Writing Down the Bones" a few days ago. I do not have the compact version, but my 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 still fits neatly on my writing desk or in one of my many oversized purses.

Last week I finished Anne Lamott's, "Bird by Bird", and a few weeks ago, it was Bradbury's, "Zen in the Art of Writing."

For reasons unknown, I have found it a necessity to refresh daily by bathing in their inspiring words.

My boy returns to school tomorrow, and I fear I will immerse myself so deeply in my writing that I will forget that there is a real world.

Lamott reminds me to get out and experience the world if I wish to become a better writer, so that is why I selected to read her first.

Bradbury tells it like it is. I need that harsh reality check occasionally.

I can't wait to see what Goldberg will bring to me next.

Shaddy said...

darksculptures: It sounds like we're on the same page with our reading. I have BIRD BY BIRD and have read it too. It's excellent as well.

I like these books that don't teach the mechanics of writing, just the benefits.

Did you notice in Beth's comment above that Goldberg has another writing book out titled, OLD FRIEND FROM FAR AWAY?

Thanks for stopping in.

Rob said...

Shaddy - good post! I will have to add this to my list of books to read. I'm often looking for inspiration and/or the confidence to continue writing. Thanks!

Shaddy said...

Rob: You're welcome. In WRITING DOWN THE BONES you will definitely get confidence and good solid reasons why you should write.

You must be getting extremely excited about the upcoming birth of a new baby girl! I hope Heather is feeling good and ready for the upcoming challenge. It seems like it should be your turn to give birth. Life is so unfair!!

darian said...

I too love writing poems, stories, articles, when we start creative writing in l.a. at school im the only one excited...its the same with reading.
but i am new at the blogging thing and was wondering if you have any suggestions as to how to improve my blogs.

darian, =D