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Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay
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Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The material is right there in front of you. You’ve known yourself for, well, a lifetime—and you finally feel ready to share your story with the world. Yet when it actually comes time to put pen to paper, you find that you’re stumped.

Enter Adair Lara: award-winning author, seasoned columnist, beloved writing coach, and the answer to all of your autobiographical quandaries.
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Ten Speed Press (first published April 1st 2009)
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Definitely a cut above most of the writing instruction and coaching books out there. Naked, Drunk, and Writing focuses on how to write memoir, but is also useful for fiction writers who are pursuing a project with strong autobiographical elements, or a novel with a memoir-like plot and structure. IMO the section on how to construct a narrative arc was worth the price of the book by itself - it forced me to envision the plot as driven by the believable actions of evolving characters, and cured my ...more
The bottom line: Writing a memoir is just like writing a novel, only you don’t have to make anything up.

I subtracted one star for her weird gender bullshit. (I would have subtracted two, but it all takes place on one page and afterwards it's never heard from again.)

She says that men don't like to share their work during the drafting process. She doesn't even say some men. Many people have asked me to read their works-in-progress, and most of them have been men. But she says, "This is how men op
Gender issues: "All women are like BLAH BLAH. All men are like BLAH BLAH."

Psychology issues: "don't be a victim; don't ever say you're in therapy; if you have a theraputic insight, write it as coming from a talk with a friend or a sister." Because why? Author bias, apparently, since there's no reason given for this find and replace your therapist advice. Books like Hornbacher's Mania and Wasted, the Prozac Diaries, and Girl, Interrupted are classic memoirs that prove there is an audience for me
One of the best writing coaching books that I've read. Thorough, concise and often humorous, Adair Lara gives helpful and very usable advice on producing your own memoirs, journals and essays. Full of tips that may seem common-place, but that we somehow miss when it comes to writing: "Having trouble figuring out where to begin? You don't have to start writing at the beginning, that part may come later." Very helpful advice for me as I can let the 'beginning' keep me from ever writing anything.

A. T. Adlen
I'm "finished" reading it, but I don't think I'll ever be finished reading it. That's what I love about instructional non-fiction, so many gems to keep you coming back! I have every page dog-eared practically, especially the ones with the "try this" exercises.

This book has me writing up a storm and I highly recommend it.
Lara gives practical writing advice with a sure and witty voice. The book helped me get out of my own way. A fun read from an author who treats her readers as peers.

It only took me so long to read because I like to have a good writing book to dip into now and again, and I didn't want this one to end.
Dave Hood
Why take a course in the art of the personal narrative essay and how to write a memoir when you have all the information in this useful book
V. Gingerich
Helpful, inspiring, and funny, this was by far the best writing help book I've read. Okay, I've read maybe three, so I guess that's not saying much, but let me just say- I feel like writing now and I haven't had that feeling for a few months.

My favorite chapter was Chapter 11- "What Goes in and What Doesn't"- with its handy lists of questions and practical tips.

And by the way, the title is to catch your eye and has nothing to do with the content. Or the reader.
A great text for beginners in creative nonfiction, though I would prefer a little more about the personal essay, as opposed to the memoir. Easy to understand, not condescending, well-organized and explained, and practical. In my experience, students often sell back creative writing textbooks (the didactic--not novels, memoirs, books of poetry, etc.), but think most students would hold onto this book after the class is over.
Funny, inspiring book about writing personal essays and memoirs. Although some of her advice is easier said than done ("write every day even if you're not in the mood"), overall it offers excellent tips on the process from beginning to getting it published. Very straightforward without any woo woo "embrace the spirit within you" faux artistic mysticism.
Naked, Drunk and Writing is the first in a lengthy list of books loaded upon my Nook intended to enhance my writing skills. I found a ideas as well as exercises to spark the creative spirit. I felt the author was a little condescending. Perhaps she was naked, drunk and writing.
Denisen Hartlove
Cannot say enough about what a great book on writing this is! Funny stories, good writing exercises, and valuable advice make this book a must-have for any writer, whether thoselonging to be published for the first time or reading on the plane while on way to accept Pulitzer!
Jennifer Louden
Really useful nuts and bolts book on writing memoir and personal essay. Funny with clear, useful examples from the author's writing life. Pair with The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith and you will be doing great.
A readable how-to text on personal narrative and memoir. Many things you have already heard, but in fresh spunky language and with motivational context. Maybe the kick that your ass has been looking for?
Brian Kennedy
The title and cover art were initially a turn off, but this is a great reference book for essay and memoir writing. Will definitely be keeping this on my bookshelf and revisiting it often.
Marcia A
A little bit more than I cared to learn about writing a memoir, but I liked the information on structure of an essay. Who knew there had to be an epiphany, even in a short essay?
Candace Savage
Minus the goofy title, this book provides a helpful and encouraging guide to writing and publishing personal essays.
Victoria Costello
Adair is great on humor and pep talk. This is some of her best stuff. Read it if you want to get a poke with some fun.
Carole A.
Jan 04, 2011 Carole A. is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to let it all hang out with writing their personal memoirs or essays.
Recommended to Carole A. by: It had me at hello.
Absolutely LOVE the title! Dug into this one last night, and it's on its way to becoming a fave of mine.
Awesome reference book for writers. I bought it on my iPad but plan to buy the hard copy, it's that good.
Presents the information in a clear yet entertaining way. One of the best essay how-tos I've read.
I liked this book, it makes me think she would be a good person to take a workshop from.
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
She makes a writing career as an essayist or memoirist seem easy and doable.
Mary  Mendoza
One of the best books on writing. Nudity not required to enjoy this book.
Interesting guide to writing and publishing personal essays and memoir.
Stacy marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Rohit Venu
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Jan 22, 2015
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“You can’t just come out and say what you have to say. That’s what people do on airplanes, when a man plops down next to you in the aisle seat of your flight to New York, spills peanuts all over the place (back when the cheapskate airlines at least gave you peanuts), and tells you about what his boss did to him the day before. You know how your eyes glaze over when you hear a story like that? That’s because of the way he’s telling his story. You need a good way to tell your story.” 4 likes
“Write it down. Whatever it is, write it down. Chip in into marble. Type it into Microsoft Word. Spell it out in seaweeds on the shore. We are each of us an endangered species, delicate as unicorns.” 2 likes
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