Natalie Goldberg Quotes For Success In Life

Natalie Goldberg is an American popular author and speaker. She is best known for a series of books that explore writing as Zen practice. These Natalie Goldberg quotes will motivate you.

Best Natalie Goldberg Quotes

  1. “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  2. “Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  3. “I used to think freedom meant doing whatever you want. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  4. “Whether we know it or not, we transmit the presence of everyone we have ever known, as though by being in each other’s presence we exchange our cells, pass on some of our lifeforce, and then we go on carrying that person in our body, not unlike springtime when certain plants in fields we walk through attach their seeds in the form of small burrs to our socks, our pants, our caps, as if to say, ‘Go on, take us with you, carry us to root in another place.’ This is how we survive long after we are dead. This is why it is important who we become, because we pass it on.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  5. “This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  6. “Be tough in the way a blade of grass is: rooted, willing to lean, and at peace with what is around it.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  7. “In writing practice, there’s no direction. You enter your own mind and follow it where it takes you. We have a great need to connect with our own mind and our own true self. And all of us have a story to tell.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  8. “We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  9. “We must remember that everything is ordinary and extraordinary. It is our minds that either open or close.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  10. “Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  11. “Actually, every time we begin, we wonder how we did it before, Each time is a new journey with no maps.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  12. “Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  13. “Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  14. “Our bodies are garbage heaps: we collect experience, and from the decomposition of the thrown-out eggshells, spinach leaves, coffee grinds, and old steak bones out of our minds come nitrogen, heat, and very fertile soil. Out of this fertile soil bloom our poems and stories. But this does not come all at once. It takes time. Continue to turn over and over the organic details of your life until some of them fall through the garbage of discursive thoughts to the solid ground of black soil.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  15. “When you are present, the world is truly alive.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  16. “Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of applesauce. In summer, we work hard to make a tidy garden, bordered by pansies with rows or clumps of columbine, petunias, bleeding hearts. Then we find ourselves longing for the forest, where everything has the appearance of disorder; yet we feel peaceful there.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  17. “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  18. “Use original detail in your writing. Life is so rich, if you can write down the real details of the way things were and are, you hardly need anything else.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  19. “Use loneliness. Its ache creates urgency to reconnect with the world. Take that aching and use it to propel you deeper into your need for expression – to speak, to say who you are.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  20. “The muscles of writing are not so visible, but they are just as powerful: determination, attention, curiosity, a passionate heart.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  21. “When you write, don’t say, “I’m going to write a poem.” That attitude will freeze you right away. Sit down with the least expectation of yourself; say, “I am free to write the worst junk in the world.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  22. “We should notice that we are already supported at every moment. There is the earth below our feet and there is the air, filling our lungs and emptying them. We should begin from this when we need support.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  23. “We are each a concert reverberating with our whole lives and reflecting and amplifying the world around us.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  24. “I am free to write the worst junk in the world.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  25. “It is odd that we never question the feasibility of a football team practicing long hours for one game; yet in writing we rarely give ourselves the space for practice.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  26. “As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. …This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  27. “This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don’t want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run … That’s how writing is too … One of the main aims in writing practice is to learn to trust your own mind and body; to grow patient and nonaggressive.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  28. “The things that make you a functional citizen in society – manners, discretion, cordiality – don’t necessarily make you a good writer. Writing needs raw truth, wants your suffering and darkness on the table, revels in a cutting mind that takes no prisoners.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  29. “The aim is to burn through to first thoughts, to the place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or the internal censor, to the place where you are writing what you mind actually sees and feels, not what it thinks it should see or feel.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  30. “A writer must say yes to life.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  31. “If you feel bored or uncomfortable as you’re writing, ask yourself what’s bothering you and write about that. Sometimes your creative energy is like water in a kinked hose, and before thoughts can flow on the topic at hand, you have to straighten the hose by attending to whatever is preoccupying you.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  32. “The positive thing about writing is that you connect with yourself in the deepest way. You get a chance to know who you are, to know what you think. You begin to have a relationship with your mind.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  33. “If you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up — to know that there’s life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  34. “We walk through so many myths of each other and ourselves; we are so thankful when someone sees us for who we are and accepts us.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  35. “There’s an old adage in writing: ‘Don’t tell, but show.’ Writing is not psychology. We do not talk ‘about’ feelings. Instead the writer feels and through her words awakens those feelings in the reader. The writer takes the reader’s hand and guides him through the valley of sorrow and joy without ever having to mention those words.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  36. “I write because I am alone and move through the world alone. No one will know what has passed through me… I write because there are stories that people have forgotten to tell, because I am a woman trying to stand up in my life… I write out of hurt and how to make hurt okay; how to make myself strong and come home, and it may be the only real home I’ll ever have.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  37. “The problem is we think we exist.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  38. “Writers end up writing about their obsessions. Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  39. “Women need space and silence. We too quickly give away our energy. There’s something about holding that richness.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  40. “Writing practice brings us back to the uniqueness of our own minds and an acceptance of it. We all have wild dreams, fantasies, and ordinary thoughts. Let us to feel the texture of them and not be afraid of them.Writing is still the wildest thing I know.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  41. “I came out with a book called The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language. It’s a book that describes how writing is a practice and how my teaching is part of that practice. I direct the writing and create books but underneath, there’s always the river of practice happening. No good, no bad. Just do it.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  42. “If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  43. “poems are small moments of enlightenment” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  44. “Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  45. “When you bring the darkness to the table, it doesn’t rule you or hurt other people, but when we keep it secret, it’s dangerous.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  46. “Can we walk that thin line between constant change and continuation? And in the middle of this flux, feel gratitude but not hold on? Gratitude greases the joints to let us let go, and at the same time to stop and realize we received something. Gratitude is the most developed and mature of human emotions.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  47. “All of us can create if we allow ourselves to.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  48. “It used to be with chocolate. I would put chocolate in my studio and say, “You know, Nat, there’s this chocolate you can have if you get over there.” And usually if I got over there, I would start writing. Sometimes I need get out of the house and go to a café and write. Sometimes I’ll write with other friends to get myself going. And sometimes I just say “Ok, Nat, enough. Go one hour. Keep your hand going.” I’ll do whatever it takes.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  49. “Katagiri Roshi says: “Poor artists. They suffer very much. They finish a masterpiece and they are not satisfied. They want to go on and do another.” Yes, but it’s better to go on and do another if you have the urge than to start drinking and become alcoholic or eat a pound of good fudge and get fat.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  50. “You live and then you die, I thought. It’s good to have some good times.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  51. “My goal is to write every day. I say it is my ideal. I am careful not to pass judgment or create anxiety if I do not do it. No one lives up to his ideal.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  52. “It’s okay to embark on writing because you think it will get you love. At least it gets you going, but it doesn’t last. After a while you realize that no one cares that much. Then you find another reason: money. You can dream on that one while the bills pile up. Then you think: “Well, I’m the sensitive type. I have to express myself.” Do me a favor. Don’t be so sensitive. Be tough. It will get you further along when you get rejected. Finally, you just do it because you happen to like it.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  53. “When I wrote and got out of the way, writing did writing.” (p.90)” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  54. “I often wonder if all the writers who are alcoholics drink a lot because they aren’t writing. It is not because they are writers that they are drinking, but because they are writers who are not writing.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  55. “Our lives are at once ordinary and mythical. At the same instant we have these magnificent hearts that pump through all sorrow and all winters we are alive on the earth.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  56. “Great lovers realize that they are what they are in love with.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

  57. “Have compassion for yourself when you write. There is no failure – just a big field to wander in.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  58. “So writing is not just writing. It is also having a relationship with other writers. And don’t be jealous, especially secretly. That’s the worst kind. If someone writes something great, it’s just more clarity in the world for all of us.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  59. “Women are wonderful, but they get so caught up about their body. We need to unhook from worrying so much. When I don’t feel good, I look in the mirror and think I look fat and miserable. But when I feel good and whole, I’m not worried about my body because I’m living in it. It doesn’t become an object.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  60. “Too often we take notes on writing, we think about writing but never do it. I want you to walk into the heart of the storm, written words dripping off hair, eyelids, hanging from hands.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  61. “Sometimes people say to me, “I want to write, but I have five kids, a full-time job, a wife who beats me, a tremendous debt to my parents,” and so on. I say to them, “There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make the time now, even if it is ten minutes once a week.”” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  62. “Writing is the crack through which you can crawl into a bigger world, into your wild mind.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  63. “There’s no such thing as a writer’s block. If you’re having trouble writing, well, pick up the pen and write. No matter what, keep that hand moving. Writing is really a physical activity.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  64. “Writing can teach us the dignity of speaking the truth.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
  65. “We shouldn’t forget that the universe moves with us, is at our back with everything we do.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

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