Writing Down the Bones Book Summary, Ending, Quotes & Review 2024

Writing Down the Bones Book Summary, Ending, Quotes & Review 2024
Julia Scheeres
Julia Scheeres She/Her - Journalist/Book Author/Cat Mom May 03, 2024

Writing Down The Bones is about the craft of writing and its practice. It is a guide that encourages aspiring writers to embrace their creativity and develop their own unique voice. The book offers a series of insightful and practical reflections on the art of writing, providing inspiration and guidance for anyone who seeks to express themselves through the written word.

Writing Down The Bones Book Summary

Natalie Goldberg, the author and narrator, shares an intriguing blend of memoir and writing guide. She invites readers into her world, where each moment is a potential story. She emphasizes the importance of practice and presence in writing.

Goldberg delves into the concept of 'writing as a practice' akin to meditation. She encourages writers to engage in freewriting, a method where one writes continuously without self-censorship, which liberates the writer's inner voice.

Through her anecdotes and exercises, readers are challenged to observe the ordinary with extraordinary attention. Goldberg's narrative style is informal and conversational, drawing readers into her personal writing journey.

The book explores the writer's life, from the solitude that writing demands to the joy of encountering one's creativity. Goldberg reflects on the writer's relationship with discipline and the significance of developing a routine for writing.

Readers are introduced to the concept of 'killing the editor,' the internal critic that often stifles creativity. Goldberg advocates for writing first, then editing later, to allow the flow of ideas to be uninterrupted.

She also discusses the importance of honing one's observational skills, suggesting that the world around us is a treasure trove of inspiration for writing.

A significant portion of the book is dedicated to the craft of writing itself. Goldberg provides insights into topics like detail, using the first person, and overcoming writing blocks.

Goldberg's style is both instructive and encouraging, as she provides practical advice on structure and the editing process, all the while emphasizing the importance of being true to one's own voice.

The book is an ode to the writing life, encompassing the struggles and triumphs that come with such a pursuit. It explores how writers can find inspiration from their own experiences and translate them into meaningful prose.

Goldberg touches on the writer's relationship with solitude, the creative process, and the act of reading, which she regards as fundamental to becoming a better writer.

Throughout the narrative, she emphasizes the value of community and the need for writers to support and learn from each other.

Nearing the end, Goldberg takes a reflective turn, contemplating the impermanence of life and how it fuels the urgency to keep writing, to capture fleeting moments and emotions.

The book concludes with a call-to-action for writers to commit to their craft, to keep their pens moving, and to honor the stories that are waiting to be told.

Writing Down The Bones Quotes

  1. Be patient. This is hard work. Trust your own mind and your own process.Be patient. This is hard work. Trust your own mind and your own process.
  2. The most important thing in writing is to learn to trust your own mind.The most important thing in writing is to learn to trust your own mind.

Writing Down The Bones Ending Explained

At the end of Writing Down The Bones, readers are left with a profound sense of the writing journey's ongoing nature.

Natalie Goldberg's final reflections encourage writers to continue their practice, to stay engaged with the process, and to recognize that writing is a lifelong commitment.

In her signature style, she reiterates the importance of trusting one's own mind and the power of the written word to connect with both the self and the world.

Characters in book Writing Down The Bones

  • Natalie Goldberg: The author and narrator of the book, she is a seasoned writer and writing instructor who shares her personal insights and experiences about the writing process.
  • Notable Minor Characters: Various figures from the author's life, such as other writers, students, and mentors, who have influenced her own writing journey and from whom she has gleaned valuable lessons.

Key Lessons

  • Embrace the Ordinary: The mundane aspects of life can be a rich source of inspiration for your writing.
  • Trust Yourself: Have confidence in your own unique voice and your personal writing process.
  • Write with Honesty: Authentic writing comes from being true to your experiences and emotions.
  • Persevere: Consistent practice and dedication are fundamental to improving your craft as a writer.
  • Observe Intently: Cultivate the art of observation to capture the details that make your writing vivid and real.

My Personal Opinion

Is Writing Down The Bones worth reading? Totally. I loved the raw and honest approach to writing that Natalie Goldberg presents. It feels like she's sitting across from you, passing on her wisdom in a personal conversation.

I was inspired by her emphasis on practice and the idea of writing as a journey. On the downside, I wished for more structured exercises in some sections. Goldberg's style is free-flowing, which may not appeal to those seeking a more prescriptive guide to writing.

I would recommend this book to writers at any stage of their journey. It's particularly valuable for those who are struggling with finding their unique voice or seeking to invigorate their writing practice. Writing Down The Bones delves into the heart of what it means to be a writer.