Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer's Craft
by Natalie Goldberg
I haven't read this author's previous writing books, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within or Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life, so I can't compare this book to those. I'd heard of Writing Down the Bones and was mildly curious about it, so when Thunder and Lightning came my way, I was happy to give it a read.
The book has some glowing reviews on Amazon, so obviously it appeals to some people. I'm just not one of them. In spite of the implication of the subtitle, this is more memoir that craft book. Not that there aren't insights into writing here, but they are, in my opinion, few and far between. One observations Goldman makes that struck me is:
I never wanted to write to my grandmother and grandfather. They were my audience my whole childhood, not a beat off. I spoke in the moment and they listened. No gap. Maybe it's the gap, the feeling that someone isn't listening, doesn't get it, has half heard us, that compels us to write and explain. That's why we turn around and speak to our past, as if others can hear us now, as if we can finally hear ourselves and catch our fleeting lives.
While this idea catches at me, it's not vital to know this to be a writer, and that's what I found throughout the book. None of this was vital. It's all very Zen. If that works for you, you may love this. It may be just the inspiration you need. If you're looking for practical advice though, look elsewhere.