A uniquely delivered Eastern Zen approach to the craft of writing.
The popularity of Buddhist Goldberg’s best-selling literary guidebook Writing Down the Bones (1996) furthers a legacy of directing new and established writers toward becoming more creatively productive. Here, she employs the inwardly focused “sit, walk, write” concept, incorporating meditation and mindfulness into the process and encouraging creativity through connective intention. Goldberg interestingly juxtaposes the extremism of her 1960s upbringing with today’s challenging yet essential integration of work and family. Goldberg gets personal in chapters describing a bout with the flu or her irritation with a neighbor’s barking dogs; this characteristic transfers well into her sage, encouraging advice for writers of any age. Other sections liberally reference poetry, book excerpts, and the works of inspirational authors and her students. She sees writing as an expression of the innermost self, and when performed with a clear mind and a quiet core, the author believes her students’ best work can become cathartic. Sharing this ideal has made her seminars popular by way of a slower approach to writing through breathing, walking and deliberate authorship of personal material, whether shared with a group or contemplated in silence. Goldberg demonstrates that writing can be a calming, clarifying experience and, perhaps most importantly, one that incorporates a “taste of the joy—and lucky fun” that can develop from authoring the written word.
A pleasantly meditative, intuitive writing guide—though some aspiring writers may find too few nuts and bolts.