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Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life [Library Binding]

Natalie Goldberg
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1990 141771557X 978-1417715572
"Wild Mind" is for everyone who writes or wants to write. Natalie Goldberg teaches a Zen-like method that will take you straight to the source of creative power, to the mind that is 'raw, full of energy, alive and hungry'. These pages are packed with wise, practical and witty advice on: how to find time to write; how to discover your personal style; how to make statements come alive; and, how to overcome writer's block. "Wild Mind" also offers a larger vision of the writer's task: balancing daily responsibilities with a commitment to writing; knowing when to take risks as a writer and as a human being; coming to terms with failure and loss; and learning self acceptance - both in life and in art.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Library Journal

This book is well intended but flawed by its somewhat incoherent style, lack of good writing, and an inability or unwillingness to target an audience. The brief autobiographical chapters offer counsel and moral support to the aspiring author, with a little Zen thrown in for good measure. There are several exercises for writing practice that are useful but can be invented or found elsewhere. The cosmic angle may appeal to those with New Age inclinations, although it may annoy others. While this book is inexpensive and accessible, a work on writing ought to contain some fine examples (e.g., Strunk and White's Elements of Style, or anything by William Zinsser).
- Janice Braun, Medical Historical Lib., Yale Univ.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"Natalie Goldberg, author of the bestselling Writing Down The Bones, teaches a method of writing that can take you beyond craft to the true source of creative power: The mind that is "raw, full of energy, alive and hungry."

Here is compassionate, practical, and often humorous advice about how to find time to write, how to discover your personal style, how to make sentences come alive, and how to overcome procrastination and writer's block -- including more than thirty provocative "Try this" exercises to get your pen moving.

And here also is a larger vision of the writer's task: balancing daily responsibilities with a commitment to writing; knowing when to take risks as a writer and a human being; coming to terms with success and failure and loss; and learning self-acceptance -- both in life and art.

Wild Mind will change your way of writing. It may also change your life. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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First Sentence
For fifteen years now, at the beginning of every writing workshop, I have repeated the rules for writing practice. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
After reading it twice, I think this book contains both positive and negative aspects. Basically, I've come to the conclusion that it's not a book on how to write. Instead, I view it as a memoir by a person with a more-or-less interesting life. At times, it makes for fascinating reading; other times, the stories and anecdotes fall really flat. The writing advice itself is sparse though there are several decent exercises to cure writers' block. Goldberg is a remarkable writer who has wisdom and wit, but I expected more actual writing *technique* from this book and was therefore disappointed.
By the way, I pity the narrow-minded reviewers who bash her for writing about her relationships with women. I've read plenty of books by heterosexual authors who constantly mention their spouses, and I don't see readers accusing them of throwing it in their faces.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment after Bones July 31 2001
Format:Paperback
While some will love this book, I found it terribly disappointing after reading Writing Down the Bones -- which I loved. Perhaps this is because Bones was so wonderful this could not compete. I found the writing in Wild Mind cloying and self-indulgent -- to the point of irritation. There are many more inspiring writing books than this. Don't bother with Wild Mind unless you want if for its great cover art!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent for use on ooodles of levels Jan. 16 2003
Format:Paperback
the person who gave 'Wild Mind' a (1.) saying she's a Zen flying all over the country seems to be missing the boat big time and could use some therapy herself or something...besides Zens are suppose to fly all over the country with friends...thank God...gee wizards, lighten up...Natalie's humor, insight and wonderful practices are fun , playful (the only way to learn) and freeing...her analogy of writing to sex and living i love...i got this little gem in Ashland, Oregon...just jumped out as books do...people who die with the most toys, win...nope...people who make people laugh and who can laugh, win...Natalie does that so well as she shares her fullness and wisdom...practical guide to life, sex, humor and writing...i don't care if the 'sour puss' writing the review can write better or worse than Natalie or me...that's not the point...better hasn't a thing to do with writing...Natalie can write, write well, share well, write for everyone and herself and helps so many with practical suggestions about living a full and fulfilling life...this isn't just a book on basic writing...this is a grand philosophy book...nice, compact, practical, fun, hands on, "Be Here Now
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very freeing and instructive book Sept. 5 2002
Format:Paperback
I have been a writer since I was a child but never realized that "being a writer" had little to do with what you write or even how often. It's a way of looking at the world, and Natalie Goldberg captures it and conveys it in a way that (finally) legitimized the writer within for me. For that, I'll be eternally grateful. When people used to say to me, "You analyze too much," I'd feel bad about myself, but now I say to myself, if to no one else, "Yes, that's what makes me a good writer!"
Not only did she free the writer-person within me when I read this book, but she gave me new ways to practice writing from an angle I hadn't thought of. I am not good with descriptions of scenes and, in fact, hate even reading them, but in order to get better at it, I did her little exercises and had fun and sharpened my skills at the same time. (...which reminds me, I need to do them again.)
I reread portions of this book several times a year and I always keep an extra couple of copies of it on hand to give to other writers and wanna-be writers. I hope it never goes out of print!
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2.0 out of 5 stars What I think Dec 7 2001
By George
Format:Paperback
Natalie Goldberg's Wild Minds: Living the Writers Life is full of useful information along with ideas of how to guide yourself to the point of disciplined writing. She, in her short 62 chapters, explains how a writer lives and ideas to remember while writing. One useful point of information was to always set yourself in that place or what about a place similar to what you are sitting in at the current moment. By doing this you will add more emotion and description and your readers will take more notice in the details to feel as if they are there also.
She includes, at the end of almost every chapter, a try this section. In the try this sections, she offers skill building, if you chose to follow them. Some will take only 5 minutes, some up to two hours to complete if you are dedicated. These are a bit helpful; however, most of them seem to try to overcome writer's block.
Although this book contains many to live by rules of writing, it is more biographical if anything. You learn about her life than you do skills of how to be a good writer. If you are already a writer or thinking of becoming one, this book is an excellent choice. She offers morale and encouragement throughout her stories with her own hardships and realizations. However, if you are looking for a book to help teach you how to be a good writer, then you should look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Has a place of honor on my reference shelf. April 28 2001
By Bonnie
Format:Paperback
Many books on writing are strictly craft books. Some are about becoming "pro" - dealing with editors, managing your PR. This is not about that. WILD MIND is about practicing the art of writing and about the life of one writer, Natalie Goldberg. But is so clearly instructive, so vividly stimulating, that reading it will automatically boost your own creative fires, and very likely your output. So...in its way, it is a surprisingly practical book.
Like her earlier WRITING DOWN THE BONES, Goldberg has created another wonderful resource for the writer at any stage of his/her craft. She's evolved, refined and developed the exercises presented in Bones, as well as added new ideas. A favorite of mine is to read work aloud often. She writes: "Write, read,write, read. You become less attached to whether it is good or bad. 'I wrote this now I'll read it, no big deal.' " She gives guidelines for working in a writer's group, and has many "try this" suggestions sandwiched in between anecdotal moments from her life which enrich and strengthen us.
As a professional writer for 25 years, I personally learned from this book mid career and continue to revisit eleven years later. A must have for any writer.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This book really helped me improve my writing, and was just very fun to read. She is an excellent writer and i highly recommend you read this. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kassidy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Mind: Living the writer's life by Natalie Goldberg
This book is a great starting point for anyone who wants to start writing. I love the freedom it gives and the suggestions for topics to get you going.
Published 12 months ago by mamap@shaw.ca
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I Had Discovered This Book Earlier......
This book is yet another treasure from Natalie Goldberg. It is like being invited into her home for a while, observing her in process... gleaning what gold you can. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2003 by Julie Jordan Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I Had Discovered This Book Earlier......
This book is yet another treasure from Natalie Goldberg. It is like being invited into her home for a while, observing her in process... gleaning what gold you can. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2003 by Julie Jordan Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you need to jumpstart your writing?
If you are an aspiring writer and need to jumpstart your creativity Wild Mind is your Bible. I cannot imagine my life without a copy for me and one to give away. Read more
Published on May 24 2003 by Diva Denise
1.0 out of 5 stars You can do better than her
This book gave me great confidence as a writer, because I know I can at least write better than Goldberg! Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2002 by M. Van Buijtene
1.0 out of 5 stars It's lucrative to write about writing.
That's the only explanation I can come up with for this book. Goldberg has made a good living off of "Writing Down The Bones," and now goes to the well again to offer... Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2002 by Edgar W. Bridges
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
Goldberg's publisher did her no favor by letting this garbage slip into print. I'm sure her credibility took a swan dive when "Wild Mind" came out. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2002 by Dondular
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild mind gets wild juices flowing
I read this book in 1 day, bookmarking the places I wanted to come back to. Goldberg truly spoke to me. The exercises she provides are excellent for getting the pen moving. Read more
Published on Dec 7 2001 by Maria Vanderbie
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