Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $46.12

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

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

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Krissy D.H.
  • Krissy D.H.
  • 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.

89 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barbara
  • 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.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for William
  • 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!

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for bodoni
  • 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.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K. Davis
  • K. Davis
  • 22-03-2013

My New Best Friend

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

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robin
  • 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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mally Mambo
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Patricia Otero
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rebecca C. Wright
  • 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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert
  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for VC
  • VC
  • 26-02-2016

Loved it

I listened to the book while at working in my studio on images so not with 100% intensity but i will definitely listen to it again. It's my first introduction to Natalie Goldberg and I think she's great, I really enjoyed her voice, I understand it's not everybody's voice but I really enjoyed listening to her read. I think her advice is wonderful, I particularly enjoyed hearing the two voices of her younger self and self in the present reflecting on book, much wisdom is here for writers and for anyone wishing to engage in the world more deeply.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for B McH
  • B McH
  • 11-08-2016

Inspirational and Useful

This is narrated by the author, which gives much more meaning to the personal anecdotes. it's less about the practical "how" of writing, and more about the"why". Having said that, there is plenty of advice on how to stick with it, and I'm surprised her instructions for timed writing aren't as well known as Julia Cameron's morning pages as a technique for would-be writers. As a special edition, this audio book has extra commentary by the author at the end of each chapter, and an excellent interview at the end. may be the inspiration you need to keep on keeping on.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 17-03-2020

This should taught in school

I wish everyone gets to read this amazing book. Now I can't stop until I finish all her books.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beth T.
  • Beth T.
  • 08-07-2019

Burning brilliance.

One of the best books on writing I’ve come across. Natalie is engaging and down to earth. I found myself pausing the book regularly to write and make notes. The input from the author in the audible version complements the text and adds an additional layer of interest for writers – it’s fascinating to hear Natalie reflect on the writings/thoughts of her younger self. Would recommend to anybody interested in writing! There is so much to take away.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 21-12-2018

WONDERFUL BOOK!

I really loved this book. It's inspired me both in my writing and spiritual practice and taught me that I can bring both together. Thank you Natalie!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rod Smith
  • Rod Smith
  • 14-10-2018

Wow... amazing!

Loved this... talk about motivated! This is a book for all creatives who struggle sometimes with their own inner demons. The audiobook is extra special, listening to Natalie's thoughts on her earlier work. Fascinating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew Flint
  • Andrew Flint
  • 09-06-2018

A book that helped my writing practice years ago

I think this should be on every writer's shelf. This book gave me impetus to write in my teens and now I've come back to this updated version just over ten years later.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K
  • K
  • 17-11-2017

falling in love with writing

Natalie makes you fall in love with writing! what you do with that love absolutely depends on you...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marina Johnson
  • Marina Johnson
  • 07-08-2017

Brilliant. Do not miss this!

If you write a journal, are trying to get published, anything along those lines.....get it!

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.