Wild Mind – Natalie Goldberg

Here is compassionate, practical, and often humorous advice about how to find time to write, how to discover your personal style, how to make sentences come alive, and how to overcome procrastination and writer’s block – including more than thirty provocative “Try this” exercises to get your pen moving.

And here also is a larger vision of the writer’s task: balancing daily responsibilities with a commitment to writing; knowing when to take risks as a writer and a human being; coming to terms with success and failure and loss; and learning self-acceptance – both in life and art.

Wild Mind will change your way of writing. It  may also change your life.

I read this book back in October last year while I was taking a break from my writing. I was hoping that it would help me figure out what was blocking me from writing my story, and while to begin with it didn’t seem as though I was getting much from it, by the time I reached the ending I was pleasantly surprised.

This is a meandering book, with the stories shared not being told in chronological order, nor do they always seem to have a clear point. However, there are lots of examples about how this particular author lives, and how the way she lives impacts on the way she writes. The things she shares are interesting, though sometimes I think a little outdated. A lot of this was written several decades ago and does show.

A lot of the information in this book is similar to the things you might find in other books about writing, so if you are new to the scene, or looking for a different take then it could be a good one to check out. Though if you’re turned off by Zen/Buddhist stuff, then you might want to pass.

Personally, it wasn’t until I very nearly reached the end that I started to grasp the revelation that has helped changed my mindset – the realization that is now allowing me to write without the pressure, to breathe in the story and exhale it onto the page.

My best writing comes when I write the story from beginning to end. When I write it full, when I infuse it with the details that make the characters and world come to life, those quirky things that are vital to the who and the where. And this is the message I am taking from this book.

I don’t think it’s for everyone, but for those who do pick it up, I think there is every chance you’ll find something useful to take away from it.

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One thought on “Wild Mind – Natalie Goldberg

  1. Pingback: From “what’s a blog” to “hey it’s my blog’s first anniversary”–wow! « bluegrassnotes

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