Bedside Books

How one book inspired folk singer Kerri Ough to think about writing in a new way

The member of the group The Good Lovelies recently read Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones, which taught her about the importance of practice and patience.
The Good Lovelies singer Kerri Ough recommends reading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. (CBC)
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Kerri Ough is one third of the Juno-winning folk group The Good Lovelies. She is also a painter and a writer. Ough recently read the guide Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, and found it to be particularly helpful with excelling in all of these areas.

A writer's discipline

"I have to confess, Writing Down the Bones has been on my bedside and in my backpack for a year. It's technically a book on writing practice, but it's much more than that. One of the things that drew me to the book is her comparison of writing to sport — you don't get better at something if you don't spend time doing it. People wonder why they can't write on a moment's notice, but they haven't written in two months. She says, 'If you were a runner and you warmed up a week ago, you're not ready to run a marathon today.' It speaks to me because I also love running and have to run three or four times a week in order to stay in running shape. I'm a musician, a writer and a painter and I don't get better at any of these things unless I spend time on them. When I read her prompts and teachings, I must put her book down and go right to work."

Kerri Ough's comments have been edited and condensed. 

Listen to The Good Lovelies's song Lie Down: