- Library Binding
- Publisher: San Val (October 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 141771557X
- ISBN-13: 978-1417715572
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 295 g
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life
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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.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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In many ways "Wild Mind" is quite similar to "Writing Down the Bones," so if you've already read that, there may not be a lot here that's earth-shattering, but if you enjoyed "Bones," you'll probably enjoy "Wild Mind." It's also a combination of writing tips, personal musings, and Zen insights, written with a decided poet's sensibility. Each chapter is short and deals with some facet of writing, often in a non-linear, stream-of-consciousness fashion. There are a number of writing tips, most of which boil down to: write more. Goldberg, like most professional writers, is a big believer in scheduled, timed writing sessions and other ways of holding yourself accountable for the writing process. One of the most amusing episodes in "Wild Mind" is her description of trying to get her writing back on track and making appointment with a friend to meet for a joint writing session: her friend says she might not be able to make it, but Natalie tells her not to worry: if *she* (Natalie) thinks her friend might show up, then she'll have to come, and she does. She then spends the next several weeks making appointments with her friend for writing sessions that only Natalie attends. A bit unorthodox, perhaps, and a potential way to shed yourself of your less patient and understanding friends, but something to consider if you really, really have a hard time scheduling that all-important writing time.
Still, "Wild Mind" is not about a business-like approach to writing, but about how to make writing into a craft and an art form. If you're looking for tips on how to write the next bestseller, you will be disappointed, because Goldberg is here to help you develop your authentic writing self, not pump out cookie-cutter books that will be devoured and tossed aside in favor of the next flavor of the week. Instead, she gives inspirational talks on how to break through your barriers and start creating. As she tells us in the essay that gives the book its name:
"So, either in New Mexico or Ohio, we are under a big sky. That big sky is wild mind. I'm going to climb up to that sky straight over our heads and put one dot on it with a Magic Marker. See that dot? That dot is what Zen calls monkey mind or what western psychology calls part of conscious mind. We give all our attention to that one dot. So when it says we can't write, that we're no good, are failures, fools for even picking up a pen, we listen to it." [...]
"So our job as writers is not to diddle around our whole lives in the dot but to take one big step out of it and sin into the big sky and write from there. Let everything run through us and grab as much as we can of it with a pen and paper. Let yourself live in something that is already rightfully yours--your own wild mind...Can you do this? Lose control and let wild mind take over? It is the best way to write. To live, too."
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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