Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg
I was first introduced to Natalie Goldberg and the concept of free writing during my first semester of college. That first composition class was a revelation to me. It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life: an affirmation that this writing thing wasn’t completely crazy. Or rather, it was crazy, but I wasn’t alone in it. *I* could be a writer. Even if I was a biology major at the time, I was a writer.
That was 18 years ago.
Being a writer is a belief. Any belief is subject to doubts. I need reaffirmations. Reading and re-reading books like Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind give me assurance, even more than so than all the writers I know online.
Of course, the weight of 18 years of my experiences as a writer color my reaction to this book. I believe that writing is work, hard work, that can be broken down to a process. So, some of Goldberg’s fuzzy spiritual aspects leave me a bit cool. Truly, any advice about writing only works for some of the writers some of the time. But at its core, Goldberg’s philosophy is this: Shut up and write.
And that’s what I need now.