Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Writing Life

The Writing Life is an audio recording of a conversation with Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg, both writers and writing teachers. After owning this for many months, I finally popped it in my CD player in the car and found it to be an incredibly inspirational resource.

Julia Cameron is one of my favorite writing inspirations. She is probably most famous for The Artist's Way or its follow-up Vein of Gold. But I love her book The Right to Write. She considers herself an artist and doesn't allow herself to be pigeon-holed as a writer or screenwriter or poet or musician. But I find that her book on writing is the most helpful and has the closest correlation to what I need.

She speaks a great deal about morning pages--three pages in long hand written every morning. This is a writing practice which gets you in the process of writing so that when you have time to sit down and work on your projects, you are not overly concerned about the marketability of the work. You just write. It's the way to get the "censor off your shoulder." While I'm not completely successful at this, I do try to stick to a writing regimen in that I write in my journal at least several times a week. This is writing just for me, not to sell, not to share. It keeps me connected to the page.

Natalie Goldberg is most well-known for her book Writing Down the Bones, another book on writing and the writing life. I'm not as familiar with her work, but I know many other writers who love it.

This audio CD is a conversation between these two authors and a moderator. In the first part, the three sit down and talk in a studio, and in the second part, they discuss writing in front of a studio audience. It's a highly motivational and inspirational CD that I recommend to any writer, wherever they are in their writing journey--whether published or not. Check it out!


  1. Thank you for suggesting this resource, Julie. I will be on the lookout for it.

    I'm currently working my way through "The Artist's Way", adapting it to my needs (I hadn't realized until I got into it that it's aimed at "blocked" artists. Being blocked is not my current problem. Keeping up with all the projects is!)

    This resource for writers will go on my must-read/listen to list!

  2. I really liked A Right to Write, and will have to check this one out. I find that the morning pages is very helpful as well.

  3. Wow! Thank you for this recommendation. I love Natalie Goldberg, and if you like Julia Cameron, I promise that you will truly enjoy WRITING DOWN THE BONES. LONG QUIET HIGHWAY is another wonderful book. And if you haven't yet read Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD, you'll love it! Thank you again! A.

  4. Thanks for the recommendation! Writing Down the Bones is one of my favorite books.

  5. This sounds terrific! Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. These are two authors who have inspired me many times-I had no idea they'd put out a joint CD. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I've got a stash of Audible credits and was just wondering what I should use them on - thank you for posting about this audiobook!