Natalie Goldberg on Writing What Disturbs You

5 thoughts on “Natalie Goldberg on Writing What Disturbs You”

  1. You have the right idea here. Villains are interesting because there is a reason they are why they are. Some don’t see themselves as the bad guys. Some have been brought to where they are by outside forces and they just embrace their situation. Some have gone through loss and they have nothing left to lose so they embark on vengeance or revenge no matter the cost. Any of these can bring about scary villains. Some we may want to sympathize with, but we at least need to empathize. Think on your favorite bad guys and why you like them. Also remember, that they have their own minds that take them to dark places most people don’t go. Villains are only as dark as you make them. Their thoughts and actions aren’t necessarily yours, so there is a freedom to think about what THEY may do and not you. It is something that will come with practice. Some practiced novel writers speak like they don’t so much write the action but they just know the characters well enough to just let the story unfold on its own.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    Writing for me is the most enjoyable therapy…it works well with a mix of other therapies, of course, and in my case, the mix would be hatha yoga, meditation, and much much else. If you want to hook your reader, the best way is to be authentic – and in order to be authentic, one must speak from the heart, confronting all that we find disturbing and even shameful. Read zenandpi’s great post here on Natalie Goldberg’s advice to bravely plunge into writing about all that is dark…i wrote a post on my own early process which you can check out too if you like:


  3. Natalie Goldberg is one of my favorite authors. I would do anything to attend a writing session with her. Her advice is so on point. “Writing what disturbs you” speaks to me because, like you, there are some things I rather not let people know about. Unfortunately, people have seen a side of me that is anything but good. Which is probably why this phrase has so much meaning for me.


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