Writing Down the Bones

Gaur (Indian bison) skull with horns and bones

Several years ago a lovely and talented writer turned me on to Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.

I’ve had this book all these years and I haven’t even finished it. I can only read about two pages before I suddenly have to put the book down, rush over to my desk, and write something.

This book is so unique you can judge it by weight. It’s light, yet it holds more inspiration per ounce than anything I have ever hefted before in my life. It’s like condensed inspiration, slowly and lovingly rendered down to almost pure form.

I know I’ve touted this book before, maybe here, definitely elsewhere, but even if I’m repeating myself it deserves to be repeated. I sometimes wish I’d discovered this twenty years ago, but no. Things happen for a reason. The universe has a timing all its own. Something brought Jennifer and I together one morning at a Starbucks, and I think her gift to me was to tell me about this book. So the book came into my life at a time where I can really appreciate it, and savor it, and let it inspire me one page at a time.

I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who writes. Not just novels, but poetry, business reports, sales receipts, shopping lists … even if you don’t write at all. It teaches you in a very Zen way to appreciate life as it happens.

It’s a writer’s job to notice things. Moments. Instances. If you notice them, you appreciate them. Then you can write about them.

But the real gift here is that you learn to notice them.

Thank you again, Jennifer.

And thank you Natalie Goldberg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *