1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.49

Buy for $31.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

With nearly one million copies of the book Writing Down the Bones in print, Natalie Goldberg has helped change the way writing is practiced in homes, schools, and workshops across America.

Here is a new collector's edition of this modern classic as you have never heard it before, read by Natalie Goldberg herself and then infused with her most personal reflections about this "magic manual" for all writers. Try these ingenious, Zen-based exercises to expand your writing skills - or just for fun.

© Natalie Goldberg; (P) Sounds True

Featured Article: 45+ Quotes About Writing from Famous Writers


No matter how passionate you are about it, writing can be difficult. Whenever you’re struggling with writer’s block, rejection, competition, insecurity, or any of the countless obstacles that wordsmiths encounter daily, it can help to get encouragement from those who have successfully overcome the very same challenges. If you're looking for inspiration to start your next project, these quotes about writing from writers themselves are sure to be welcome reading!

What listeners say about Writing Down the Bones

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    456
  • 4 Stars
    119
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    14
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    363
  • 4 Stars
    69
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    23
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    379
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    9

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Substance

I almost passed on this gem after reading all the negative reviews here, so it feels like a duty to add the positive. Natalie Goldberg is not an actress who portrays an author in order to appease audiences; she is the actual author. This book provides genuine coaching from an actual writing coach. It is less about appearances and more about substance. She reads the chapters that she wrote two and a half decades ago, then elaborates afterward as an older and wiser writer. The writing is informative, language is lovely, and perspective is helpful for anyone who LOVES to write. She sounds like an older Jewish lady from New York. So what? She is.

108 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Better other think...

I agree Goldberg's voice is difficult to get used to. I am glad that I had read all the reviews before I bought this. I think you have to make friends with Natalie and listen like you would to a wise friend or grandmother. Her information is good and informative. Not everything will apply to everyone. She is kinda outlandish at times. But again, how badly do you want to write your best stuff? If you want to write better, then get over the voice and listen anyway.

49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Insights

This is a classic book for writers, teaching how to explore the creative process of writing. I have read the book, and just recently had the great pleasure of enjoying the audio book version read by Natalie. She reads in a wonderful, personal manner, like sharing great secrets.

The best part of the audio version, she frequently will stop after reading a passage and talk about what it's like to read a passage 15 years after writing it. She offers great insights to what it is like to age as a writer.

Highly recommended. Enjoy!

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What’s wrong with her voice?

I love her voice. I’m a big fan of authors reading their own work, in general — it adds a lot for me. Remember that Goldberg has successfully taught writing for decades and has formed countless writers; this is the voice that she teaches in. It’s her voice. It’s her. It’s a no-nonsense, warm, down-to-earth New York voice. It’s a voice that contains sensible reminders for us all.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My New Best Friend

Listening to this book is like spending the morning in Starbucks with a trusted friend.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational!

Natalie's ad libs bewteen chapters I found to be very entertaining and informative. This book gave me the confidence I needed to continue doing what I once loved to do, which is to express myself through writing. Her suggested exercises and ways to get the ball rolling if you are struggling to do so really work. I love this book and I would highly recommend it.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this book!

This book is very helpful to get you in the right mindset to get waiting. I even loved her tone and accent.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring, deep and an amazing voice she has.

What made the experience of listening to Writing Down the Bones the most enjoyable?

Great advices for writing, deep thoughts about life that actually will improve your writing. She has that deep calm voice that makes me feel like If I was home, a voice that makes me smile , that makes me feel I'm in a Café having coffee and croissant and she is there with me talking about her life.
Natalie has the power to make you feel you don't need anything else besides yourself, your pen and your paper for become a good writer.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

Loneliness is not a fear that we should overcome. Loneliness is just that black big dog that we have to become friends with.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of great advice

Really enjoyed this. Hearing what she thought about what she wrote years earlier gave it more resonance and made it more real. I really like the idea of writing sprints. She talks a lot about writing practice and I remember reading Kristine Kathrin Rusch saying that all writing is practice. Each story and book is practice. I'm also reminded of Day Bradbury saying write a.short story a week. You can't write 52 stories and all of them be bad. At least a few will be good. It mAkes sense that you write and you grow as a writer. You practice and you get better. Listen to this and get inspired. Listen and then write.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Book that brings pure joy

I can listen to the book over and over again and it manages to inspire me every time. I read "Writing down the bones" more than 10 years ago when my mom accidentally bought it as a guide for writing her diploma work in Law. At that time I was bored, overly emotional teenager who sometimes wrote corny poems. I never really had a guidance and I had no idea how to connect my brain and heart with the hand and paper. "Writing down the bones" gave me a kick for writing prose and taught me how to live right on the paper. I didn't became a writer then, but her tricks helped me through difficult times when I just had to "write out" my emotions or that burning feeling inside me.
Now 10 years later I am happy to hear Natalie's voice. It's like listening to an old friend, although we had never met in real life. This time I came back as a creative professional and her tips now make a very different sense. And at the same time I can now see how I have used her strategies to build my career and how to trust myself even when everything seems impossible.
Definitely one of the best books I have ever read and that has had the great impact on my life. If your are an aspiring creative and especially interested in writing I encourage you to read this book before any other writing guide.

4 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for VC
  • VC
  • 02-26-16

Loved it

I listened to the book while at working in my studio on images so not with 100% intensity but i will definitely listen to it again. It's my first introduction to Natalie Goldberg and I think she's great, I really enjoyed her voice, I understand it's not everybody's voice but I really enjoyed listening to her read. I think her advice is wonderful, I particularly enjoyed hearing the two voices of her younger self and self in the present reflecting on book, much wisdom is here for writers and for anyone wishing to engage in the world more deeply.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for B McH
  • B McH
  • 08-11-16

Inspirational and Useful

This is narrated by the author, which gives much more meaning to the personal anecdotes. it's less about the practical "how" of writing, and more about the"why". Having said that, there is plenty of advice on how to stick with it, and I'm surprised her instructions for timed writing aren't as well known as Julia Cameron's morning pages as a technique for would-be writers. As a special edition, this audio book has extra commentary by the author at the end of each chapter, and an excellent interview at the end. may be the inspiration you need to keep on keeping on.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jacqueline Walters
  • Jacqueline Walters
  • 08-31-21

Thank you Natalie

What a wonderful, inspirational book! Your words and thoughts keep me grounded thank you! Very informative and moving, to hear Natalies take her book as her life and thoughts have progressed, your voice is like a meditation to me it’s your book gives so much writing tasks and ideas, your determination and positive outlook and Zen thoughts.


1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-21

A JOYFUL LISTENING ON WRITING BETTER

Natalie's words pour out with joy. Her words are delibrate yet free. She writes with the wisdom that comes with being an experienced writer and teaching writing. You can see that she has put together her best ideas that will help any serious writer improve and write better. I thoroughly recommend this book. It certainly gave me more clarity about writing. I will read it a few more times after writing my book. I will also check out her other books on writing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-20

This should taught in school

I wish everyone gets to read this amazing book.
Now I can't stop until I finish all her books.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beth T.
  • Beth T.
  • 07-08-19

Burning brilliance.

One of the best books on writing I’ve come across. Natalie is engaging and down to earth. I found myself pausing the book regularly to write and make notes. The input from the author in the audible version complements the text and adds an additional layer of interest for writers – it’s fascinating to hear Natalie reflect on the writings/thoughts of her younger self. Would recommend to anybody interested in writing! There is so much to take away.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-18

WONDERFUL BOOK!

I really loved this book. It's inspired me both in my writing and spiritual practice and taught me that I can bring both together. Thank you Natalie!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rod Smith
  • Rod Smith
  • 10-14-18

Wow... amazing!

Loved this... talk about motivated! This is a book for all creatives who struggle sometimes with their own inner demons.

The audiobook is extra special, listening to Natalie's thoughts on her earlier work. Fascinating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew Flint
  • Andrew Flint
  • 06-09-18

A book that helped my writing practice years ago

I think this should be on every writer's shelf. This book gave me impetus to write in my teens and now I've come back to this updated version just over ten years later.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K
  • K
  • 11-17-17

falling in love with writing

Natalie makes you fall in love with writing! what you do with that love absolutely depends on you...

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Renee
  • Renee
  • 02-24-19

Great insight

I really enjoyed hearing the author's voice and her reflections on what she'd written many years before.

This book would particularly appeal to writers of literary fiction and poetry.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bernadette How
  • Bernadette How
  • 05-02-18

A painfully boring reader.

If Zen is her thing, the zen-like voice that promised sanity drove me insane with its dour tone throughout. I couldn’t carry on after persevering a little more than half way. The monotone reading sent me to sleep at times and to utter frustration at others.