This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Pam Jenoff, whose new book is published on Friday, discovered writing guide Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg during a long winter in Poland. It is, she says, the book that changed her life and enabled her to write her own novel.
The book that changed my life is Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg is a Zen Buddhist and she brings that approach to writing by encouraging writers to go deeper within themselves. In particular, she advocates a timed writing exercise in which one keeps the hand moving and does not stop to edit. Goldberg encourages writers to write without fear that the work is not good enough – to silence their inner editors.
She says: “You are free to write the worst junk in America.” Asked about her approach in an interview, Goldberg said: “We are always listening to what I call monkey mind, which is constantly saying, "I can't write, I don't know how, I don't want to." But there's this huge mind that's available to all of us, where all things – animals, rocks, us – are interconnected and interpenetrated. This is what we have to connect with in order to write.” She urges writers to “go for the jugular”.
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I’ve never met Goldberg, but I still aspire to attend one of her workshops in Taos. Without a doubt, it was one of the single greatest influences contributing to my becoming a writer.
The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff is out on September 5.