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on December 7, 2000
Wild Mind: A Book Review Writer's block. It can be a mind numbing and frustrating experience. Wild Mind: Living The Writer's Life written by Natalie Goldberg, a Zen Buddhist and author of Writing Down The Bones, helps writers realize that writing is all in their mind and not the pen. No matter who you are, Wild Mind is a book you should have on your bookshelf. The book is written in the first person and is an extremely fast read. The chapters are short-sometimes one or two pages-and tease you to continue reading. Throughout the 238 pages there are many "Try This" sections. They are lessons she uses to help people write better. Don't just breeze over these sections. Give them a shot. They're fun and exciting. Wild Mind also focuses on getting rid of what Goldberg calls "Monkey Mind." Monkey Mind is annoying and I hate it. It's that little critic that says I stink at writing. "So our job as writers is to not diddle around our whole lives in the dot [monkey mind] but to take one big step out of it and sink into the big sky and write from there. Let yourself live in something that is already rightfully yours-your own wild mind" (33). This book was an extra special treat for me to read because it mentioned Buddhism. I've been studied Buddhism for an entire semester.. While reading Wild Mind, I found an answer to a test question.. I was dumfounded. The funny thing is that if I had read that section in Wild Mind earlier, I would have gotten the question right.
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on December 19, 2000
The best kinds of books are ones that you put on a certain part your desk and know that, eventually, you'll be reading it again. Natalie Goldberg's _Wild Mind_ (as well as her _Writing Down the Bones_) is the type of book that is going to follow you through your life because they help writers with a terrible disease... writer's block.
No matter what stage of writer's block you're in... Initial denial... mediocre frustration... or serious hair pulling... Goldberg has a variety of simply exercises which can not only "unstuck" you, but also help develop the writing muscle so that you don't end up always thinking, "Well, I get to my writing real soon now".
For non-writers, a Goldberg read is likely to churn up creative energy. Simply reading a few chapters will open the creativity door wide open and who knows what is going to come out.
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on July 19, 2000
Like Writing Down the Bones, Wild Mind is more than just a simply "how-to" book. Goldberg expands upon the ideas she covered in "Bones" and takes it one step further. My favorite passsages from this book are those where Ms. Goldberg discuss what the personal journey/process of writing has been for her.
Goldberg is both courageous and inventive. The book is filled with helpful "Try This" exercises to help stimulate your own writing and reads more like a conversation with a good friend in a coffeeshop than a manual on "how-to" write the next bestseller.
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on November 29, 2001
I like Natalie Goldberg...she's real. If you're trying to talk yourself into becoming a writer, I definitely recommend both Wild Mind and especially Writing Down The Bones. Both books have wonderful ideas and exercises that will tweak your mind. The spiritual aspect is what draws me and she confirms in these books what I've long suspected. That is, when you connect with your own Higher Self, creativity will flow--whether it's writing or anything else, that's the first step to "getting it."
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on March 2, 1998
I don't think Natalie Goldberg could possibly top Writing Down the Bones, but this book is almost as good. Definitely a must for anyone who loved Bones.
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