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This is one of my favourite books on writing. I bought this copy in 1995. It was originally published in 1986 and there are updated versions since then. It’s the kind of book you reread and reread.

In WRITING DOWN THE BONES, Natalie Goldberg has presented the work as a series of vignettes, each two or three pages long. Some are only a half page. They are all powerful and concise. Whenever I need motivation for my writing, I randomly flip open the book and listen to what she has to say. Sometimes I get lost in her essays for an hour or more. Sometimes I do the exercises she suggests. I always close the book feeling inspired.

In an earlier blog entry, I describe one of her writing exercises here.

Some of the chapters I have circled in the Table of Contents are

  • First Thoughts
  • Living Twice
  • Writing Is Not a McDonald’s Hamburger
  • Blue Lipstick and a Cigarette Hanging Out Your Mouth
  • One Plus One Equals a Mercedes-Benz

I’ve underlined and stick-it noted my way through the pages and I don’t lend this book to anyone. If you’d like your own copy, you can most likely find it at your library or buy it here.

Now, I’m going to make a cup of tea and get lost in this book for the rest of the afternoon.