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Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life Paperback – Oct 1 1990

4.0 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 1 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553347756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553347753
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.4 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

Review

"Wild Mind vibrates with kindness, truth and courage. The words lift off the page. As I read, my world got bigger. Natalie Goldberg is a superb teacher" Laura Davis, co-author of The Courage to Heal "Wakes you up like a cross between morning coffee and a friendly Zen master" Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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