Book Review

Today I read a book on the craft of writing for my writing class. The fact that I’m a little sleep deprived and read it all in one sitting may have added to my very critical reading of this book. But, basically I think that Natalie Goldberg is a little bit off her rocker from my reading of Wild Mind.

She’s like the double rainbow guy, but trying to give writing advice. “Its so bright and vivid. What does it mean?”

It means that you have done too many drugs in the past.

There’s this whole chapter on her “mink”. I think her mink is her muse, and has left her body and won’t re-enter it. But.. she sees it as a cat, just sitting there. She talks to her therapist about it, so that’s good, she has a therapist. Eventually the mink re-enters her body and she says, ‘I’ll go wherever you take me.’

Then she compares herself to the blue whales she sees and says she knows how they feel. They dive into the deep, dark waters and occasionally come back to the surface – just as she dives into the dark corners of her mind to write. But, the dark waters are a whale’s natural habitat. The ocean is filled with life. This comparison just doesn’t work for me.

In fact, most of the book doesn’t work for me. She’s too focused on zen and energy and trying to sound meaningful.

So – if you’ve read Wild Mind and have something positive to say about it, I’m sorry. Maybe I’m being too harsh. And if not, then my advice is to stay away.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review

  1. Well the Beatles wrote a whole album through the inspiration of being loaded. Sounds like her “mink” might be more like some form of LSD.

  2. Some writers dwell too deeply in inspiration. Her writing is an example of what you are to steer clear of darling. Don’t drink the Kool-Ade and you will always make sense.
    Love you Angel….

  3. Allyson – I think music is a little different than a “how to” on writing. Maybe she’d make a great musician though. 😉

    Toni – Don’t worry, I won’t drink the KoolAide. lol. I guess it’s good to have both writers to aspire to be like (this semester I was introduced to Wendy Mass, who I really like. And I think I will always go back to Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary) and those to stay away from. I don’t want to be the overly descriptive (and in my opinion dry), or the kooky too deeply inspired and abstract.

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