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The True Secret of Writing

The True Secret of Writing

Connecting Life with Language

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 Gold­berg’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 empow­ered. . . . 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 writ­ing, and keep going. The True Secret of Writing helps you with your writing—and your life.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451641257 | 
  • February 2014
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Read an Excerpt

True Secret of Writing Introduction


A DECADE AGO, when I initially came up with the title “The True Secret of Writing,” it was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I’ve used that phrase when a student has come late to class: “Oh, Sheila, I’m so sorry. You just missed it—a moment ago I told the students the true secret of writing. I am only able to utter it every five years or so.” I’m teasing, but it gets the point... see more

About the Author

Natalie Goldberg
Photo Credit: Genzen Q. Quennell

Natalie Goldberg

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.

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