book review: Old Friend from Far Away

Any writer has read the essential book on writing: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, which provides wonderful advice and encouragement. When I saw that she would be at a reading at the Brookline Booksmith on Wednesday, March 25th, I jumped at the chance to hear her read from her new book which focuses on writing memoir:

Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir

[I had a miserable day on Tuesday and remained in a funk on Wednesday especially when I received bad and unbelievable news]

Regardless, I should attend many more book readings because as Goldberg said, “There’s nothing like hearing an author read what she wrote in her own voice.”

The book is like a workshop in that she gives you assignments to do. She suggested that we by several spiral notebooks to fill with our writing. Join a writing group –something I definitely know that I need to do/ should do– of course in my 30s I just found a book club to join and I am its youngest member!!! I know that to be a good writer one must write all the time. I feel like I do write often. I write for this blog, I write film and music review/ commentary and the like but it might be good for me to take Natalie’s advice and get a notebook and write for ten minutes each day on a subject from her book.

Writing is an athletic activity. It comes from the whole body, your knees and arms, kidneys, liver, fingers, teeth, lungs, spine- all organs and body parts leaning in with you, hovering in concentration over the page. And just like any other sport, it takes practice.
–Natalie Goldberg


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