Actually, I listened to Natalie Goldberg read her own book via an audiobook download.
As a budding writer and author myself, I am keen to pick up as many tips and hints as I can to improve my own writing.
Natalie Goldberg wrote Writing Down the Bones when she was 36 years old and takes time to reflect on her writing as a 50 year old.
In this book, Natalie draws on her own personal writing and spiritual zen practice to convey how to write from the deeper layers of ourselves straight onto the page.
She encourages you to time your writing practice on a daily basis, whatever the topic. This is to ensure that what you write has fire and passion, movement and gets straight to the crux of the topic.
I found myself deeply inspired by Natalie Goldberg's approach to writing from a deeper level. She teaches not to allow the critic to take the lead when it is the creative self that must put the words down on the page before any editing can take place.
Natalie's suggests include:
Write every single day.
Time your writing to add pressure and spice.
Read your journal out loud to yourself so that you can connect with the points that ring and sing true.
Take that lively writing and put it at the top of a new page in your journal and start writing again. Natalie challenges you to grow into your writing and show yourself. She wants you to bare your heart and soul. She wants you to go deeper, far beyond where you believe your limits lie.
"Shut up and Write." Simple as that. Get right down into the bones of what you want to say and say it.
This is not a time to hold yourself back. Write, write, write.
Write rubbish if you have to. Soon it will evolve into something far beyond what you ever thought you could write.
Put your writing practice front and centre and do what your heart tells you to do.
Natalie discusses the process of using pen on paper over typing on a keyboard. She tells us how important it is to get to the nitty gritty detail and allow the magic of the process of hand writing to take you into another world.
Natalie Goldberg is a highly sought after writing teacher who lives in America but also teaches in France each year. She is a painter and a poet as well.
Her mantra is, "shut up and write. Go!"
I like her mantra and it is what I now use to get me going on the page. Even when I have those moments where the page stares back at me in blank defiance. I begin to write and get down to what I really want to say.
If you want to improve your relationship with your own writing and your mind, whether it is creative fiction, non-fiction or a memoir, make sure you either read or listen to Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg as there are treasures hidden in this work that will feed your writer's soul.
To find out more about the author, Natalie Goldberg, go to her website.