Writing Down the Bones

A creative writing workshop in Todmorden based on Natalie’s Goldberg’s groundbreaking book bringing writing and spiritual practice together

Writing Down the Bones is taking a break over the Summer. Watch this space for new dates Autumn 2024.
Writing Down the Bones was Natalie Goldberg’s first book in which she brought Zen meditation and writing together – writing as both a creative and spiritual practice. Since it was first published in 1984 it – and her later books – have inspired millions to connect with themselves and grow as creative writers.
When I teach a class, I want the students to be “writing down the bones,” the essential, awake speech of their minds. But I also know I can’t just say, “Okay, write clearly and with great honesty.” In class we try different writing techniques or methods. Eventually students hit the mark, come home to what they need to say and how to say it. But it is rarely, “Okay, in the third class after we have covered this and this, you will write well.”

It is the same for reading this book. The book can be read consecutively and that may be good for the first time through. You may also open to any chapter and read it. Each chapter is designed to be its own whole. Relax as you read and absorb it, as by osmosis, with your whole body and mind. And don’t just read it. Write. Trust yourself. Learn your own needs. Use this book.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones (Introduction)
In this weekly workshop at Todmorden College, Emma Decent takes you through one of the book’s short chapters each week. We then do a writing exercise inspired by the chapter and share our words in circle. Simple.
All welcome – writers, non-writers, creative and spiritual explorers…
Participants’ comments:
‘It has fired up my writing. Thank you!’
‘A welcome, kind and nurturing space in the busy world to explore with words.’
‘I really appreciate the magic of writing with others, time slows and words just seem to flow. Emma is a great guide, gentle and patient.’
‘Lovely, welcoming and encouraging atmosphere. Accessible but profound.’
‘It is really motivating to come each week. The book is very easy to read and generates thoughts but the class stimulates writing.’
‘A marvellous experience, allowing myself to let go and let my pen write instead of my brain.’
Mondays 7.15pm – 8.45pm
Tod College Burnley Road, Todmorden, OL14 7BX
Pay As You Feel £9-£15 per session. Pay via BACS or in cash on the night
Each workshop stands alone so you don’t have to be committed.
For more information email emmadecent@talk21.com.
See also Natalie Goldberg