Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay
Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay by Adair Lara is a writing book I've had FOREVER that I just never got around to reading. I've tried reading it here and there over the years, but for some reason never got very far. I'm not interested (right now anyway) in writing a memoir, but I would like to learn more about personal essays, which is why I kept attempting to read it. I finally buckled down and actually read the whole thing (even the stuff about memoirs) over the last few weeks.
Lara is concerned with both personal narrative essays and memoirs (which are basically longer personal narrative essays). She starts the book off with the essay, talking about how to craft one, coming up with your angle, your tone, and using images. She takes a break to talk about getting yourself to write and the value of writing buddies before moving to talk more in depth about writing memoirs. While I'm not interested in writing one myself, I found her discussion of memoirs quite interesting, especially since I was also reading Cait Flanders' memoir The Year of Less (and it was, in my opinion, full of all the things Lara said NOT to include in your memoir - like making yourself out to be the victim and not having a satisfying conclusion - your memoir should be you looking back at the events long after they have ended, not you looking back at events while still in the middle of things). If I hadn't read Lara's book, I don't know if I would have been able to put my finger so easily on why exactly I didn't like Flanders' book.
That being said, I still feel like I'm floundering a bit as to the writing of a personal essay. Her advice on the actual crafting of it didn't quite gel in my mind. I'll probably have to give it a try and/or reread that chapter another time before it does.
*As of September 24/15, I am not taking any more requests from authors to read their books. I currently have too many books to read. I'll update this if/when that changes.*
I currently have 164 fiction books just sitting in my room to read (although that doesn't stop me from randomly picking books up at work or buying them on Kindle!). I've been keeping track of them on a paper list for years. This blog shares what I read as I attempt to get "the List" down to a more manageable number.
If you'd like to know what books are on the List, check out my Goodreads shelf devoted to them - it's my physical list digitized! I've also got a shelf for every book I've reviewed here on this blog.
Not everything I review here is actually on the List. Some books come from the library, some books are nonfiction (which are not included on the List), some books are on my Kindle (which have never been included on the List), and some books are given to me by friends and family.
Note: as of April 12/14, I am not going to add the *spoiler* warning I used to when I'm giving away details of books. I want to talk about the books I've read in whatever detail I'd like. So if you haven't read a book I'm reviewing, you might not want to read the review.