book reviews / write

finding a writing voice

I thought of my own writing career. In my early years I’d written some good poems, even won a fellowship, and had a poetry book published. I wrote about the obvious things: being a Jew, my marriage to a non-Jew, the Holocaust, my grandparents. But I realized…it was when Zen crossed my life that I found a voice. It was when Jewish girl met Japanese straight-backed sitting that she really began to sing.

…it did split me open, probably had to go that far out to come home to myself. Zen actually brought me to my front door, but this time I turned around and noticed.

It gave me a way to save my own life. From what did I need salvation?

From a dead suburban childhood, a forgotten heritage?

The secret is we’re all lost–and those of us who come to writing are searching for one jolt home.

It’s the cross of gain and loss that electrifies our language–gives it force, direction, urgency.

If I had consciously looked for a writing voice, I might have missed it.” 

Natalie Goldberg

 

If you’re looking for writing inspiration, the book Writing Down the Bones, Freeing the Writer Within, Natalie Goldberg will give you what you want.

Why do we writers write? It’s a many-pointed essay. Just like I might ask why you became a carpenter, a librarian, a cashier at Walmart. There’s a few answers.

Certainly, there is one reason we writers know is true of us: we’re observers, expressers, searchers.

We’re searching for truth through words. What better reason then. Just write!

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