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Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within
(Natalie Goldberg)

Natalie Goldberg is deliciously sneaky. Her book ? Writing Down the Bones ? is not like any other I have read before on the subject of writing. It may seem like a self-help book spouting Zen principles to help ?free the writer within?, but it?s also a serious text on the craft of writing. I call it an indispensable reference if you?re a novice writer, and need help moving beyond the dream of writing, into the real world of actually doing it. The contents page is confusing. One might be sure of what she?s talking about in the chapter titled ?Don?t Tell, but Show?, but can you guess what?s in the chapters ?Don?t Marry the Fly?, or ?The Goody-Two-Shoes Nature?? Probably not. So you have to read it to find out. And the writing lesson is there, clear and told in an effortlessly readable style. Her writing is tempered by an even balance of knowledge, experience and example. Frankly, I don?t see the need to read this book from cover to cover. Each chapter is like a personal lesson with a key message on developing your craft. Just pick a chapter at random and find meaning in it for yourself. This book will not spoon-feed you; you need to do the work. It?s your writing life.

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