Writing Down the Bones is a book of advice for writers. It opens with a prologue describing the author, poet Natalie Goldberg, and her own journey to become a writer.
Divided into brief vignettes, each on a different topic related to writing, this book is designed to provide specific solutions as well as general reflections on the life of a writer. The topics range from the practical (tips for writing in restaurants) to the philosophical (suggestions on how to look at the world for both specific details and the big picture).
Golberg's primary piece of advice, the one upon which all the others are based, is to engage in timed writing practice on a regular basis. Writing practice is Goldberg's version of journaling and is often rooted in the repetition of phrases such as "I see," "I know," and "I remember." This writing practice is compared to a runner's warmups, it is preparation for the day's work, designed to stretch the writer's muscles. Goldberg strives to fill two notebooks every month (and offers suggestions on how to choose these notebooks).
This book contains very few writing exercises and focuses more on the
practice of writing regularly and on ways to deal with various issues and
This report prepared by Melissa Rachiele