In honour of Nanowrimo, I though it would be nice to read and review a book related to the subject of writing. That book was Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg.
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.
Wild Mind was nothing short of a difficult read for me. The description makes it sound like a book on writing, but what I discovered was a book describing different scenes of the writer’s life. Yes, the writer did talk about writing, but the way in which it was done lacked that certain element that makes me want to keep reading. I also didn’t like the lack of structure in the book. Everything was all over the place, and it was rather disorienting, at least in my opinion.
There were a few aspects of the book that I liked, so much that I kept reading in hopes of finding the next one. Firstly, she wrote such a beautiful chapter on Style, It was so good I would actually advise others to get the book and read it for that chapter. It contains a haiku that I think would speak to everyone, not just writers. There are also useful bits of writing advice and prompts scattered throughout the book that I stored away for future reference.
The author advocates acceptance of our past writing in particular, so that we can reread and study how our minds have moved and grown. I especially loved how she noted the satisfaction that writing brings. She mentioned, in brilliance, how professionals of all types might wish to be writers but she has never head a writer wish to be anything else. That was a moment of true beauty in the book.
Although I was disappointed with the book, I feel like it has a few diamonds hidden between its pages. Diamonds so beautiful I think they were worth the time and energy it took to find them. Overall, I’d give this book a rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars.
Happy Thanksgiving (especially to all the Thanksgiving celebrators)!
K, the Popinjay.
Disclaimer: This story was received from the publisher, Open Road, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.