The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language

Natalie Goldberg (Author)


The beloved teacher and author of the million-and-a-half copy bestseller Writing Down the Bones reveals a new method of writing in "a priceless distillation of her accumulated wisdom and experience as a writer, coach, and instructor on mindfulness" (Abraham Verghese).

Sit. Walk. Write. These are the barest bones of Natalie Goldberg's revolutionary writing and life practice, presented here in book form for the first time. The True Secret of Writing provides a whole new method of writing that Goldberg developed since the publication of her classic, Writing Down the Bones.

The capstone to forty years of teaching, The True Secret of Writing is Gold-berg's Zen boot camp. Stories of her own search for truth and clarity as well as her students' breakthroughs and insights give moving testament to how brilliantly her unique, tough-love method works. As Goldberg says, "To write is to be empow-ered. . . . Writing is not just for someone who wants to write the great American novel." Learning "the true secret" allows you to mine the rich awareness in your mind and to ground and empower yourself in a way that leads to deep, eloquent self-expression. Goldberg's beautiful homages to the work of other great teachers and observers of mind, life, and love provide further secrets and inspiration to which you will return again and again.

In her inimitable way, Goldberg will inspire you to pick up the pen, get writ-ing, and keep going. The True Secret of Writing helps you with your writing--and your life.

Product Details

$16.99  $15.63
Atria Books
Publish Date
February 11, 2014
5.5 X 1.0 X 8.3 inches | 0.5 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Natalie Goldberg is a poet, painter, teacher, and the author of twelve books, including her classic, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (which has sold more than 1.5 million copies) and Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir. She has been teaching seminars for thirty-five years to people from around the world and lives in New Mexico.


"Heartfelt, funny, wise, pleading, calm, and ferocious, Natalie just makes you want to write!"--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
"Natalie Goldberg has done the unthinkable, she has shared the secret teaching. The buddhas of time immemorial are rejoicing and the literary bodhisattvas are smiling in silent approval. Read this book, then write a revolutionary manifesto!"--Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx
"Goldberg does everything she can to get across what needs to be conveyed to others. Time and mortality perfume her writing, as well as the sweetest kind of perseverance, not just with teaching but with life itself. As I read, I kept thinking of the old Chan teachers: 'If you didn't get it that way, what about this? Or this? Or this?' That bottomless generosity flows through Goldberg's instruction even during the times of doubt."--Joan Sutherland
"Beautifully written, informative, intriguing, and passionate, The True Secret of Writing is a book to be appreciated, read, and reread by the beginning writer as well as the published professional. Natalie captures the pulse and spirit of the writing life with pristine clarity."--Lee Gutkind, Editor, Creative Nonfiction, Author of You Can't Make This Stuff Up
"A fresh practice for writing... rooted in the Zen tradition." -- Shambhala Sun-----
"Many years ago my older brother gave me Writing Down the Bones with the inscription, 'So write already!' It was for me and for many readers a novel and fresh way to approach writing. I have delighted in Natalie's books ever since and in her method, having had the chance to see her at work in Taos. The True Secret of Writing is a rich voyage, a priceless distillation of her accumulated wisdom and experience as a writer, coach, and instructor on mindfulness. This lovely volume will have a permanent place on my writing shelf."--Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
"A uniquely delivered Eastern Zen approach to writing....A pleasantly meditative intuitive writing guide."--Kirkus Reviews
"Goldberg's observations -- and guidance on how to conduct a sit, walk, write workshop on your own (with as few as two people) -- are inspiring. Readers will be eager to find a café or a quiet room and get down to the business of knowing their writing, and by doing so knowing themselves more deeply."--Santa Fe New Mexican
"This is Goldberg at her quintessential best, sharing her deep personal history and lifelong experience with writing and teaching... Goldberg doesn't shy away from the human condition...urges the writer to use all this as fodder... Again and again she pins the reader in the moment with sensuous details of the physical world... She showers us with a cornucopia of words that all point to one essential thing: the silence out of which they were born..."--Book Chat