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Writing Down the Bones
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within | Natalie Goldberg
With insight, humor, and practicality, Natalie Goldberg inspires writers and would-be writers to take the leap into writing skillfully and creatively. She offers suggestions, encouragement, and solid advice on many aspects of the writers craft: on writing from first thoughts (keep your hand moving, dont cross out, just get it on paper), on listening (writing is ninety percent listening; the deeper you listen, the better you write), on using verbs (verbs provide the energy of the sentence), on overcoming doubts (doubt is torture; dont listen to it)even on choosing a restaurant in which to write. Goldberg sees writing as a practice that helps writers comprehend the value of their lives. The advice in her book, provided in short, easy-to-read chapters with titles that reflect the authors witty approach (Writing Is Not a McDonalds Hamburger, Man Eats Car, Be an Animal), will inspire anyone who writesor who longs to.
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review
KadeLexical
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Pickpick

I listened to her read this with commentary (and an interview after) and I can‘t express how lovely it was. If you‘ve ever felt the need to write, this book will embrace your soul with a warm hug and whisper in your ear “do it.” Natalie Goldberg is enchanting.

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chris.wolak
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Pickpick

I‘ve read this one several times and am listening to it on audio for the first time. #roadtrip

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CocoReads
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Morning Wrimos! Finally up for the day and ready to research and write! Enjoying my berry Cheerios and tea while catching up on social media and then I‘m planning on following a write/read/get up and move around for a bit routine today. #LitsyWriters #NaNoWriMo

Suet624 Best wishes to you!!! 2y
CocoReads @Suet624 thank you! I‘m enjoying the process for sure. 2y
Nute It‘s good to have a writing schedule. Good luck! 2y
jb72 Good luck! I think I‘ll be doing some research today on Margaret Alice Murray as she‘s what‘s inspired my nonfiction book. 2y
34 likes4 comments
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slategreyskies
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I‘m listening to this audiobook read by Natalie herself. It‘s so good. Highly recommended if your writing energy has gotten stale. She‘s really encouraging.

Leftcoastzen A classic! 2y
DAB Great book. Needed it for my undergraduate writing class. 2y
40 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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DAB
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It has been a while since I felt like journaling but this little book has inspired me.

When life gives you lemons be glad lemons are a great cleanser. And if you add water and sugar and ice very refreshing.

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slategreyskies
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Pickpick

I‘m listening to this book while sitting on the couch and trying to stay calm. I‘ve read it several times before, and I always find it really inspiring. I‘ve even bought multiple copies of it over the years and recommended it to people I know. So, I also recommend it to you. It really is an exceptional book.

The painting is one that I did yesterday after doing several sketches of the same bouquet of sunflowers. I like the way it turned out.

slategreyskies If you‘re the type for sending calming vibes, send some my way. My dad is currently having open heart surgery. A triple bypass, I believe, but maybe quadruple. My brother gave me the info, and some of it didn‘t seem accurate. He‘s got a good team working on him, but I‘m scared. Calming vibes welcome. 2y
ItsAnotherJen ❤ the painting! I love sunflowers. 🌻 2y
CBee Sending you ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
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Bookwormjillk Good vibes coming your way @slategreyskies 2y
KVanRead So lovely! 🌻🌻🌻 2y
KVanRead Just saw the part about your dad - oh no! Sending love and good vibes!💜 2y
MaleficentBookDragon Beautiful! ❤ 2y
slategreyskies @CBee @Bookwormjillk @KVanRead thank you all! The surgeon called, and they performed a triple bypass, and he came through okay. He‘ll be in ICU for a few days, and he‘ll have a long recovery, but it was all good news. So relieved!! ❤️ 2y
slategreyskies @ItsAnotherJen @KVanRead @MaleficentBookDragon thanks!! I keep looking at it. It makes me smile. 🌻 ✨ (edited) 2y
CBee @slategreyskies good news!! Best wishes for a smooth recovery. 2y
Lesliereads Love your painting 💛 2y
47 likes11 comments
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thebluestocking
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Pickpick

If you like reading books about writing, you‘ve probably read this one. If you haven‘t yet, you‘ll probably like it. I enjoyed it, though it was more metaphysical than I expected. The essays are short, thought-provoking, and, of course, well written.

BarbaraBB You‘re obviously back to reading! 🎈 2y
thebluestocking @BarbaraBB I‘ve been catching up on reviews, but yes! I am! It‘s a nice feeling. 💙 2y
67 likes2 comments
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thebluestocking
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Yep. Just one book in August. I‘m in the third month of this reading slump. I hope it lifts soon! In the meantime, I am inspired by all of your posts and am keeping a list of books you‘ve put on my TBR.

#augustwrapup #augustreads #monthlywrapup

BarbaraBB I hope you are feeling well! Maybe this #3books challenge can be inspiring. I‘d love to see your choices!!💚 2y
Ruthiella Hang in there! ❤️ 2y
thebluestocking @BarbaraBB I checked it out and I love it!! Thank you. 💙 2y
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thebluestocking @Ruthiella Thank you. 💙 2y
BarbaraBB So glad to hear this! You‘ve read so many good books to share this way and maybe you‘ll discover some in other people‘s posts that you even want to read 😉😘 2y
thebluestocking @BarbaraBB Right? I love this way of sharing books! 💙 (edited) 2y
51 likes6 comments
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Charityann
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New blog post up! https://charityrau.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/using-bio-poems-for-character-develo... The tagged book is my next writerly read!👩🏻‍💻📖📚 #writersoflitsy

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sarahgreatlove
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Pickpick

My 3rd book in my “12 months to create” project. Thoroughly enjoyed this one though it probably suffered a bit being read directly after Bird by Bird. So much excellent creative and practical advice here though, I do highly recommend it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Sunraven
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Restarted this today, since I got a fresh copy of a new edition, and I had only gotten about a chapter into it on my recentish read, anyway...

Crazeedi This was a book we used in my creative writing class in college 3y
ImperfectCJ I loved this one when I read it several years ago. I keep thinking about picking it up again, but I have a complicated relationship with writing right now. 3y
Sunraven @Crazeedi I‘m not surprised! It‘s very popular, and has a reasonable number of good things in it, haha. Did you like it?

@ImperfectCJ I think the last time I read it was something like 18 years ago — sheesh! 😉 (My first copy and I have been separated for about that long.) And I‘m actually reading it now *because* my relationship with writing has been wonky for a while and I‘m trying to unwonk it, partly with the help of old favorites.
3y
Crazeedi @Sunraven yes, I enjoyed it and that class a lot 3y
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batsy
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Some writing and creativity books that I found very helpful in the past. I need to revisit some of these and incorporate some of this advice now. #ExpressYourself #MOvember @Cinfhen

Cathythoughts I love the covers on those bottom two 👍🏻❤️ 3y
Cinfhen Well done!! Such a clever interpretation 🤓 I‘ve been meaning to read this book forever 3y
batsy @Cathythoughts Fun covers & practical advice ❤️ 3y
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batsy @Cinfhen It's a great book; warm and wise and a bit of a lifeline for people thrashing about in the abyss of writer's block 🙂💕 3y
merelybookish Nice! I was thinking along these lines too! (And I bought The Artists Way a while back but still haven't done. Apparently it includes a week where you're not supposed to read. 😬) 3y
saresmoore @merelybookish Same with The Artist‘s Way. I keep noticing it and thinking, “I should really pick that up...” 3y
Pensandwords The Artists Way helped me so much. I finished it about 8 weeks ago and it‘s still helping. I‘ve read tons of books on writing and process but that one made the biggest difference. 3y
batsy @merelybookish Yes! It really helped me when I committed to it (the week without reading went by really fast back then; now I'm not so sure? :) I found the practice of writing morning pages really helpful. I agree @Pensandwords at first I was skeptical but then it proved super helpful. 3y
Pensandwords @batsy I was skeptical at first as well. Then it started working without my even realizing it lol. 3y
UwannaPublishme Loved Bird by Bird! 🙌🏻 3y
rohit-sawant Oh, this is awesome! I recently added Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Mass to my wishlist and made a mental note to check out more craft related books and these are fantastic additions to the list. 3y
readordierachel I have 2 of these on my tbr and will now add the other 2 ❤ 3y
batsy @rohit-sawant I haven't heard of the 21st century one! I will check it out :) 3y
batsy @readordierachel I really appreciate that all of these managed to break my writing block in small steps. Julia Cameron's system works really well, I think, but it requires that tiny bit of commitment that can be hard to find when life is so full and stressful. I hope you find them of use ❤️ 3y
Suet624 I‘ve read anything that Lamott writes. She is a favorite of mine. Bird by Bird is the one that I open again and again just to receive the comfort she offers 3y
batsy @Suet624 I found great comfort in it too, especially at a time when I needed it. I definitely should get my own copy. 3y
TheLudicReader The only one of these I haven‘t read is Artist‘s Way. Writing Down the Bones was very meaningful to me in my 20s. Have you read 3y
Suet624 @batsy oh my, yes. I hope you do. 💕 3y
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ImperfectCJ
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Please share your favorite books about journaling.

I've kept a journal (often more than one) since I was ten years old, but over the past year or so, I've lost my journaling mojo. I feel bored of my own writing voice. I'm looking for a book that addresses the challenges of journaling long-term rather than a book that's just prompts or tips for beginners. If such a book exists, I figured the Litsy crowd would know about it. :-)

LauraJ I‘ve never run across a book better than the one you‘ve tagged, but I‘m curious to see what suggestions other Littens have. 3y
32 likes1 comment
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dawn-pInk
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Pickpick

depression has hit so the windows and doors stay closed
This, though, a must read for, well, I think everyone can benefit from writing. And this book just encourages you to write. About everything. I will be rereading and recommending for years. 5 out of 5 on GR.

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DebinHawaii
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#RedRoseSeptember

A classic that I first read years ago & still pull out today when I am wanting to write & am feeling a bit stuck. As the tagline states...”Freeing the Writer Within”... when followed, Natalie Goldberg‘s prompts & lessons can #SetYouFree from writer‘s block. ✒️📓📝📇

Cinfhen Great graphics 🙌🏻💕 3y
arlenefinnigan Excellent pic! 3y
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Sunraven
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“Writing is physical and is affected by the equipment you use.” I‘d forgotten Natalie Goldberg mentions that in this book — I also find that different equipment affects my writing differently. It‘s good to see it presented as a matter of choice rather than One True Way like in some books. 😉 #writing

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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I‘ve been diligent about my writing since the workshop finished last week. Now I have new inspiration to add to my stack of writing-related TBRs. Thanks to everyone who offered book suggestions. Yay!

Joyfulmimi I loved “Writing Down the Bones” 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Joyfulmimi It got a lot of love on my earlier post. Plus, my writing workshop teacher quoted her a LOT. 3y
Joyfulmimi I am gonna check out that Percy book but I do not want to write fiction @BarbaraTheBibliophage (edited) 3y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage @Joyfulmimi I‘m not sure I‘ll end up in fiction either. But the blurb said the essays apply to any genre. 3y
Hooked_on_books Hoorah! I‘m glad you picked up Thrill Me. He taught writing for many years and from this book I‘m going to guess he was great at it. Hope it helps. (If there‘s an audio version, it should be read by him. He has this remarkable bass voice.) 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Hooked_on_books I‘m excited to read it. But I‘m probably going to start with 3y
Hooked_on_books @BarbaraTheBibliophage I don‘t blame you. It‘s a great one and it‘s hard to beat Stephen King. 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Leftcoastzen Another 👍🏻 - awesome! 3y
97 likes10 comments
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Sunraven
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Small library book haul, one of which I own but don‘t have access to right now, the other of which (Opening Up, James Pennebaker) was an accidental request. 😆 I meant to request one of the author‘s other books that starts with the same two words, but who am I to reject book serendipity?

Fan in the background because we have a heat advisory today. “Feels like 99,” say they...

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jen_the_scribe

A collection of Natalie Goldberg's essays about writing. I read it through once, and now I keep it handy to read whichever essay suits my mood or situation. I read this when I was in a bit of a writing funk, and it inspired me to write from the first page.

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SShiney
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Pickpick

Great book focusing on the writing process and the practice of being a writer. I will revisit it often.

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dawn-pInk
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Beautiful snow day off. Little over halfway through and love the construction of this book. I‘m reading front to back, but each chapter is self contained and usually had a free writing exercise. I think this will be a good one to return to during bad bouts of writers‘ block.

CollapsingLibrary I find myself picking this book back up once or twice a year! 4y
dawn-pInk @hjreviews sooo happy with my purchase! 4y
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dawn-pInk
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“I tell myself, ‘Natalie, this book is done. You will write another.”

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DebbieGrillo
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I won this book ftom my school district by participating in a teacher's 30 day writing habit challenge. #teachersoflitsy

dariazeoli Nice prize! This has been on my TBR for awhile. Hope you‘ll let us know what you think of it when you have the chance to read it! 4y
LauraJ This is a classic! 4y
dawn-pInk I just bought this book! Have heard amazing things. 4y
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DarcysMom
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Pickpick
Leftcoastzen That is an incredible book about writing, one of my all time favorites! 4y
DarcysMom @Leftcoastzen I was thrilled that it was better than I had remembered - I need to add it to my permanent collection. 4y
mcipher I own this and have never even opened it. 🤦‍♀️ I should get it out for NaNoWriMo inspiration. 4y
DarcysMom @mcipher Open it up! There is a lot of inspiration in its pages. 4y
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DarcysMom
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Revisiting another old favorite.
#nonfiction2018
#librarybook

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RiaWritten
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Went to a used bookstore in Boulder and couldn‘t leave with ONLY what I went in for. #bookhaul

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DebinHawaii
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#QuotsyMay18 #rhythm

Love this book, love Natalie Goldberg. We were discussing it in the poetry session of the writer's workshop I attended a few weeks ago in the context of looking at things differently, writing in different places & picking up the rhythms of where you are. Something written at a beach with the soothing rhythm of the waves will likely be different than something written in the bustle of a busy cafe, or at the laundromat. 🙃

TK-421 This has been on my tbr mountain forever. I really want to read it! 5y
DebinHawaii @TK-421 It's actually a quick read and/or one you can space out and read a chunk here or there. 👍📚 5y
74 likes2 comments
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Ms.Story
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Pickpick

One of those reads on every English teachers' reading list. I liked that the chapters were quite focused and short, which made this ideal for sneaking in some reading when I didn't have a lot of time.

HotCocoaReads I loved this book in college! 5y
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PNWBookseller85
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Two books on #writing that I haven‘t actually read. Of course, I plan to. Writing Down the Bones is mostly writing prompts. #riotgrams

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KimSue
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“Once you connect with your mind, you are who you are and you‘re free.. Now, please, go. Write your asses off.”

Tanzy13 🐱 5y
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Joyfulmimi
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Pickpick

I loved this book which seems little but, to me, was huge. Still considering writing my story as a step in a healing process for me, she has been the most motivating and encouraging thus far. Would absolutely love to sit in a “cafe” with her and chat. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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SomedayAlmost
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Many words of wisdom in this classic book about writing! #writing #creativity #stories

slategreyskies This is my favorite writing book. I must‘ve bought three or four copies of it over the years. :) 5y
14 likes1 comment
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slategreyskies
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I finally started writing my book. I have one writing session under my belt so far, as well as a short outlining session. I‘ve never tried outlining and taking notes first, so this is new to me, but it seems promising so far. Also, I‘m already noticing themes and characters and scenes and whatnot. I think this is going to help me figure out the pieces of the puzzle faster. I‘m using these 2”x3” index cards on a key ring to organize my notes. 📓📖

slategreyskies The small format is making it less intimidating, but I‘ve gone through 1/6th of the cards already, and I‘ve only just started!! 5y
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kidamy
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Pickpick

There were moments where I felt like I had to give up on it or definitely push through in my reading. Funnily enough, although the chapters were short, I think I got the most out of it when I gave it longer pieces of my time.

This has a lot of truths in it I needed to hear, even if I didn't want to in the moment I was reading it.

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kidamy
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HotCocoaReads
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Pickpick

This book inspired me so much in college. It made me feel like even I could be a writer!

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kidamy
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I'm learning this little by little every morning I sit down to write.

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pocketmermaid
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I bought this book almost 20 years ago, and eventually bought the rest of Goldberg's books on writing. This is the only one I've hung onto, the one I keep referring back to, the one that has so many highlights and underlines in a variety of different colors from many stages of my life. While I might have some issues with Goldberg, this book still has many truths to give about writing (and life).

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Ms.Story
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"Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go."

LeslieO I love this book! Along with Bird by Bird. And I'm not even a writer! 6y
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merelybookish
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This book on writing has been around since the 80s. It could use a cover update. At the very least, they could get rid of the man's face. I guess that's supposed to be the writer within? #badcovergoodbook #aprilbookshowers @RealLifeReading

TheLudicReader I still use this book all the time in my classroom 6y
merelybookish @TheLudicReader It's a classic! It deserves a new cover maybe. 😉 6y
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writeropolis
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“Writing does writing. You disappear: you are simply recording thoughts that are streaming through you.“ Definitely needed to hear that. #amwriting #nataliegoldberg #controlfreak #amreading #bookworm #bibliophile #bookish #booknerdigans #bookblogger #tsundoku #greatreads #readmorebooks #coolgirlsread

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slategreyskies
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I love writing books! #asubjectIlove #17booklove #writing

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MamaGina
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I'm inspired by ALL the authors who put pen to paper and create the works that inform, entertain and amaze we bibliophiles. As someone who can barely write her own name, I applaud you for your courage and dedication. You make my life as a reader rewarding - thank you👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

#inspiring
#photoadaynov16

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mhillis
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Just in case you are participating in #nanowrimo and need some inspiration! #inspiring #photoadaynov16

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WordWaller
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Tonight I listened to Natalie Goldberg read from her newest book The Great Spring in Uptown Minneapolis where she wrote Writing Down The Bones! What an inspiring artist, painter, writer, and mentor. Definitely going to return to this book from my undergrad classes now that I have this memory 🖋📖🖌

BookishFeminist Where did you go in Uptown? I don't recognize this book place! 🙊 6y
Caryl Lucky you! I had another commitment, but would have loved to attend! 6y
WordWaller It was actually at a church! She has an event tonight at the Loft Literary Center but it's been sold out for a while. 6y
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BookishFeminist @WordWaller I love the Loft Literary Center. ❤️ do you work at a bookstore in MPLS? Magers & Quinn? I see all your posts from there & it makes me miss it! 6y
WordWaller @BookishFeminist me too 💗 and yes I do! Are you from Minneapolis? 6y
BookishFeminist @WordWaller I'm not but my fiancé is! I lived with him there for 3 years. Magers & Quinn is wonderful. :) 6y
WordWaller That's awesome! It really is one of the best, though I'm definitely biased in saying that ;) 6y
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BelmontSteve
Pickpick

Such an insightful and stirring inspiration to write. This is one of the books that guided me to become an English teacher.