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Publisher's Summary

With nearly one million copies of the book Writing Down the Bones in print, Natalie Goldberg has helped change the way writing is practiced in homes, schools, and workshops across America.

Here is a new collector's edition of this modern classic as you have never heard it before, read by Natalie Goldberg herself, and then infused with her most personal reflections about this "magic manual" for all writers. Try these ingenious, Zen-based exercises to expand your writing skills - or just for fun.

© Natalie Goldberg; (P) Sounds True

What listeners say about Writing Down the Bones

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great insight

I really enjoyed hearing the author's voice and her reflections on what she'd written many years before.

This book would particularly appeal to writers of literary fiction and poetry.

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A painfully boring reader.

If Zen is her thing, the zen-like voice that promised sanity drove me insane with its dour tone throughout. I couldn’t carry on after persevering a little more than half way. The monotone reading sent me to sleep at times and to utter frustration at others.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Krissy D.
  • 09-07-2010

The Substance

I almost passed on this gem after reading all the negative reviews here, so it feels like a duty to add the positive. Natalie Goldberg is not an actress who portrays an author in order to appease audiences; she is the actual author. This book provides genuine coaching from an actual writing coach. It is less about appearances and more about substance. She reads the chapters that she wrote two and a half decades ago, then elaborates afterward as an older and wiser writer. The writing is informative, language is lovely, and perspective is helpful for anyone who LOVES to write. She sounds like an older Jewish lady from New York. So what? She is.

98 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara
  • 13-02-2010

Better other think...

I agree Goldberg's voice is difficult to get used to. I am glad that I had read all the reviews before I bought this. I think you have to make friends with Natalie and listen like you would to a wise friend or grandmother. Her information is good and informative. Not everything will apply to everyone. She is kinda outlandish at times. But again, how badly do you want to write your best stuff? If you want to write better, then get over the voice and listen anyway.

47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 22-09-2009

Wonderful Insights

This is a classic book for writers, teaching how to explore the creative process of writing. I have read the book, and just recently had the great pleasure of enjoying the audio book version read by Natalie. She reads in a wonderful, personal manner, like sharing great secrets.

The best part of the audio version, she frequently will stop after reading a passage and talk about what it's like to read a passage 15 years after writing it. She offers great insights to what it is like to age as a writer.

Highly recommended. Enjoy!

29 people found this helpful

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  • bodoni
  • 24-04-2011

What’s wrong with her voice?

I love her voice. I’m a big fan of authors reading their own work, in general — it adds a lot for me. Remember that Goldberg has successfully taught writing for decades and has formed countless writers; this is the voice that she teaches in. It’s her voice. It’s her. It’s a no-nonsense, warm, down-to-earth New York voice. It’s a voice that contains sensible reminders for us all.

27 people found this helpful

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  • K. Davis
  • 22-03-2013

My New Best Friend

Listening to this book is like spending the morning in Starbucks with a trusted friend.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Robin
  • 03-07-2016

Love this book!

This book is very helpful to get you in the right mindset to get waiting. I even loved her tone and accent.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mally Mambo
  • 07-09-2016

Inspirational!

Natalie's ad libs bewteen chapters I found to be very entertaining and informative. This book gave me the confidence I needed to continue doing what I once loved to do, which is to express myself through writing. Her suggested exercises and ways to get the ball rolling if you are struggling to do so really work. I love this book and I would highly recommend it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia Otero
  • 19-03-2015

Inspiring, deep and an amazing voice she has.

What made the experience of listening to Writing Down the Bones the most enjoyable?

Great advices for writing, deep thoughts about life that actually will improve your writing. She has that deep calm voice that makes me feel like If I was home, a voice that makes me smile , that makes me feel I'm in a Café having coffee and croissant and she is there with me talking about her life.
Natalie has the power to make you feel you don't need anything else besides yourself, your pen and your paper for become a good writer.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

Loneliness is not a fear that we should overcome. Loneliness is just that black big dog that we have to become friends with.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 17-07-2019

Lots of great advice

Really enjoyed this. Hearing what she thought about what she wrote years earlier gave it more resonance and made it more real. I really like the idea of writing sprints. She talks a lot about writing practice and I remember reading Kristine Kathrin Rusch saying that all writing is practice. Each story and book is practice. I'm also reminded of Day Bradbury saying write a.short story a week. You can't write 52 stories and all of them be bad. At least a few will be good. It mAkes sense that you write and you grow as a writer. You practice and you get better. Listen to this and get inspired. Listen and then write.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca C. Wright
  • 25-02-2013

One of my all time favorite books on writing

If you could sum up Writing Down the Bones in three words, what would they be?

Inspirational and challenging.

What other book might you compare Writing Down the Bones to and why?

If you want to write by Barbara Ueland's "If You Want to Write" and "Writting Down the Bones" give experienced and new writers great advice for building confidence as a writer and supportive personal stories of their own growth and journey as writers. The writing world is much less lonely with Goldberg and Ueland by your side.

Any additional comments?

Anyone that has the desire to put pen to page should pick up this book. Somewhere in the pages you will find a spark, an idea that will get you writing. All around wonderful book.

7 people found this helpful

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