Praise for Naked, Drunk and Writing

Praise for Naked, Drunk and Writing

Hello Adair,

Recently I found your article on Writer’s Digest,  “Key Elements of Writing a Good Memoir” and it has literally changed my writing life overnight.  I have been struggling to write memoir off and on for almost two years now, and it has become a real grizzy bear for me.  I have a ton of material, a ton of stories and ideas, but no coherent whole to date.  But when I read your article and started doing it–everything has turned around!  I am amazed at how this thing is coming together these days.  My working title: ‘Enter: Blackfish * The Adventures of a Superfluous, Asocial, Sapient Demolitionist’ is flying along!  It is all finally starting to make sense!

My book is about man’s search for meaning, specifically my search for the meaning of life.  I had stumbled on that question before I was ten years old and set out to answer it.  I want to tell my story.  I want to see it in print.  But I have never written anything for publication before.  I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I have looked into hiring a writing coach in the past, but could find none I really resonated with.  Your ideas are the best I have come across in all this time, but I cannot afford you.  Your coaching or writing workshop is out of my budget.  In order to get some more of your help and to keep this positive change rolling along I must take a different direction.  I found your book on Kindle last night, “Naked, Drunk, and Writing”–and I can afford it!  I wonder if this is not the best way for me to go.  What would you reccommend?

Thanks for the great piece that has changed my writing life!

Ted Behr

 

When I took Adair’s classes, which I did over and over again, her enthusiasm and understanding of the process of writing led me to make that quantum leap to being a published author. Now  at last – the depth and breadth of her experience as writer and editor are distilled into this one great book on writing. Every writer should have a copy on their bookshelf.

Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs series

What set this book apart for me were the concrete, accessible examples set against the backdrop of an engaging narrative. You hold in your hands a perfect example of what of the book is trying to teach.

Adrienne Jones

 

I recommend Naked, Drunk and Writing to everyone! I wrote Good Grief after Adair advised, “f there’s something that’s keeping you from writing, write about that thing.”

Lolly Winston, author of Good Grief.

I am a missionary writing to you from Papua New Guinea. I am applying your book to my writing and have found a lot of inspiration. Since reading it, I decided to submit one of my stories. The editor wrote back within 12 hours and said she wanted to run it and asked for more!

Wendy Freeze

I’m a fulltime freelancer and sometimes teach writing workshops and LOVE your essaywriting “formula.” It helps keep me focused in my own work, and has been a backbone in my teaching. I have the inspiration and motivation  just give me the dang tools! And Adair Lara has.

Diane Daniels

 

Naked, Drunk and Writing combines the humor of Anne Lamott, the demystification of Stephen King (writers are people who write), the personal anecdotes of Natalie Goldberg, and the practical wisdom of the craft handbook.

Mary Whittemore

 

Full of good advice and techniques; I intend to steal from it outrageously. The really fun part is the quotations from her students’ works.

Don Fry, national writing coach

 

 

I read Adair Lara’s Naked, Drunk, and Writing, and fell into the sort of love that causes hand tremors and hot flashes. Adair Lara reminded me of why I started writing. I want to make out with this book.

Steph Auteri

 

It’s good to read writing encouragement from a writer who delivers it in a way that feels like you’re in the midst of a wonderful conversation.

GenaMarie Knight

Finally, I’m rereading Naked, Drunk and Writing by Adair Lara. It’s a guide to personal writing, so it’s obvious why I’m constantly returning to it. I’ve found her insights to be tremendously helpful in crafting and writing my memoir. I’m rereading it now because I’m enrolled in her fall writing workshop, and this is the text. Yes, I jump around and clap my hands like a lunatic when I think about it. Yes, I’m totally afraid that everyone else in the class will be better than me. And yes, I’m determined to get the most that I can out of the experience.

Marissa Korbel

Naked, Drunk and Writing It is funny and smart and full of good moreorless serious advice.
I wish I’d had it when I taught memoir at UMass. I had to settle for that stuffy Philip Lopate.
Lopate says a memoir needs two points of view, the impulsive child and the mature narrator
“conveying the sophisticated wisdom of one’s current self.”
WHAT “sophisticated wisdom”? HAH! You got any? I keep
running short.

D.B. Richard Bentley

 

Full of good advice and techniques; I intend to steal from it outrageously. The really fun part is the quotations from her students’ works.

Don Fry, national writing coach

I facilitate a writing group and am thrilled to have discovered your Naked, Drunk, and Writing. It’s going to be a huge help to my group, and I’m excited about starting to use your ideas and suggestions myself.

I’ve read tons of deadly dull instructional content about writing. It’s WONDERFUL to come across an instructional book (yours) that’s fun to read and has something (a lot, actually) to say.

Jean Reynolds, Ph.D.

 

I made it required reading for my next class, as soon as I read this on page 63: “Writing is turning your thoughts, abstractions, generalizations and opinions back into the experiences you got them from.”

Phil Baer

 

Your book got in a dragdown fight with a highlighter.

Aisley Carroll

The perfect howto guide for bloggers!

Claudine Wolk 

I was so pumped and energized after reading this book that I seduced my husband.

Rachel Rosie Sorenson

Best writing book I’ve ever read.

Tanya Taskila

 

“Naked, Drunk, and Writing” is the best book on writing that I’ve read.

Elaine Smith

 

The most helpful part of the book for me has been how to find an angle. Many stories live in my head, but I have trouble figuring out why and how I should tell them. What’s the point in talking about burning old love letters? Lara’s techniques have enabled me to get to the meat of piece and end up with something that, although personal to me, still touches someone else.

John Stone

 

A soul mate among editors, Adair Lara’s skill elevates prose to its highest potential.  Her expert editing resonates through every sentence, paragraph and page.  Naked, Drunk and Writing is equivalent to a college course in creative writing.

Ruth Chambers

A few months ago, my father gave me a copy of Naked, Drunk & Writing, which is the first book about writing that has truly helped me.

Cindy Nooney

 

I have been devouring your book since opening it. It reads like a steamy novel for us fledging authors hungry for technique and guidance. Because of your book, I finally found a home for my writing style. I believe I am an essayist. It feels good to know that.

Jana Gullick

 

Thank you for writing the best writing book I’ve read in two years!  You combine the humor of Anne Lamott, the demystification of Stephen King (writers are people who write), the personal anecdotes of Natalie Goldberg, and the practical wisdom of the craft handbook.  I’m now determined to paper my bathroom with rejection letters…and be happy about it! Really if I had to pare my collection of books on writing down to one, I’d choose yours.

Mary Whittemore

 

Just what I needed to kickstart my book, and my life.

Claire HolcombDrapkin

 

 

I loved “Naked, Drunk, and Writing.” In 233 pages, you managed to supply writers with more useful information and tips than that contained in the sum of all the writing books on my shelves.  Nancy Wiseman

 

Your book just hit me! It says everything I have been trying to “get” in my writing.

Marie Estorge

 

 

WOW! You’ve got a treasure chest here that’s just brimming with jewels!

John Leland, professor

 

 

This is a really wonderful book. One of the best (and most

helpful) books on writing I’ve read. And unlike most practical

guides, never pedantic or boring.

Janis Newman, author of Mary

 

Your insights are terrific and so is your voice

Tracy Johnston, author of Shooting the Boh

 

ND&W arrived the same week that I started an on line personal essay class that cost $250.  I must say there was significantly more value in your book than in the class.

Mike Hockley

The chapter on tone is the best thing I’ve read on the subject.

Vesta Irene

Adair Lara ensures we understand what works in essays (honesty, humility, relationships) and what doesn’t (blocky dialogue, vagueness, psychotherapy).
Kevin L. Nenstiel

Naked, Drunk and Writing changed my career, led to many bylines, and enabled me to launch my freelance business. Christina Juliana

 

 

Full of useful information and entertaining, unlike the slew of howto writing books I’ve read that have been equivalent to chewing dry Roman Meal. It’s good to read writing encouragement from a writer who delivers it in a way that feels like you’re in the midst of a wonderful conversation.

GenaMarie Knight

 

I believe I could clear out a whole bookshelf of writing books and replace them with Naked, Drunk and Writing.

Susan Bauer

 

 

Just trying to imagine myself Naked, Drunk, and Writing horrified me into deciding I could at least expand enough to write some awful prose in my nightgown first thing every morning.

Trudy Elkins

 

 

 

 

I just finished reading Naked, Drunk, and Writing, which I found both badass and inspiring, a rare combination.

 Jennifer Landau

 

 

Adair Lara states the process so simply in Naked, Drunk, and Writing that I think, “Oh yeah, I get it.  I can do that.”

Trish Tomer

 

I’m slowly savoring the words of Adair Lara in her book, Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed your inhibitions and Craft a compelling Memoir or Personal Essay. Every page is rich with content and practical applications.

Blogger JoDee Luna

 

 

 

Naked, Drunk, And Writing is the only one qualified to stand next to Strunk and White’s invaluable The Elements of Style.

 Aaron Gutsell

 

 

Adair is to writing what Julia Childs was to cooking.

Jeff Forester

 

 

 

We are using your recent book in our women’s writing group, Wise Women Write.  Most of us are (aspiring) essay writers or memoirists and it is becoming our bible. You are amazing.  You inspire me.  Your prompt me to become a better ME.

Jennifer Fabiano

 

Thanks to you I could not sleep last night. I finished your book for the second time in three days and now my head is spinning with ideas. Your book is one that gives instruction, inspiration, and most importantly, hope. William Taylor

 

 

The other day I was working on an essay about undergoing heart surgery with Dr. Oz in 2000, and I was having a devil of a time with it.  I had read ND&W, and suddenly I hear a voice in the back of my head say: “If you are right, it won’t write.”  And I realize…Eureka!…that was my problem.  The essay was about what a great and happy surgery I had.  It was a story about how I’d been right, and it was going nowhere fast.  As soon as I heard that magic phrase I knew what was wrong, so I started looking for the vulnerability in that experience and also the change.  The result was an essay called “A Polite Girl’s Guide to Surgery” which showed how I learned to be more assertive through the process of having heart surgery.

Julia Anne Miller

 

 

This is one of the few books I’ve read “for fun” and tabbed, underlined, and made notations in the margin so I remember what I want to include in my writing classes this fall.

http://adventuresinthewritinglife.blogspot.com/2011/07/bookreviewnakeddrunkandwritingby.html

 

 

“Read” is a bit too gentle of a word. I’ve basically inhaled this book and can’t wait to share the tips I’ve picked up with my students!

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Adair Lara is one of our bestselling authors. Her books are wise, witty and wonderful. We love to put them in our customers’ hands, but it isn’t hard because customers tell each other about her books. She  teaches writing classes at Book Passage and the only problem we have is dealing with the disappointed people who can’t get in—her classes sell out.

This is an author who understands humanity. Reading Adair Lara is a pleasure, but not a guilty one, because we come away knowing not only about Adair, her friends and family, but especially more about ourselves. This woman makes us think!

Elaine Petrocelli, owner of Book Passage

 

I can’t put it down and it is one that I have recommended to every single friend that wants to write essays and memoir! So funny and thorough!

Rashena Wilson

 

Just wanted to say “thank you” for writing Naked, Drunk, and Writing!  I have to admit, when I was searching for a book on essay writing, “Naked” sucked me in. I have purchased several books on writing, but this one really stands out. I know this book will be a valuable tool for me.

I am trying to work on an essay that I have titled “A Dog of One’s Own”( stealing a little from Virginia Woolf) and, before I die, write a memoir on my experiences as a veterinary technician over the last 27 years.

Now that I have your book, maybe I can write more than just the title!

Margaret Shepherd mrshep60@yahoo.com

 

Thank you for helping me craft my book.  I was in the middle of structuring my book, and I soon realized that I needed help.  I needed an expert to help me find the meaning (or what you call the “arc”) behind my memior.  One Saturday, on a quest to find this expert, I found “Naked, Drunk, and Writing” by Adair Lara.  Now, six months later, I have completely read the book, made an outline of all the information in the book, and crafted the structure of my book using your principles.  Your thorough and amusing writing guide took a book about how I got over my Ex and transformed it to a story about a girl’s quest to love herself.So, again, thank you for writing your book and enabling me to write mine!

Brooke Alexandria brooke.alex.ba@gmail.com

 

I’m a book editor and memoir writing instructor based in the Toronto area. I read your book Naked, Drunk and Writing, and like so many, loved it and found it a font of inspiration.

Allyson Latta www.allysonlatta.ca

 

I had the weirdest dream last night after I finished your book.  I was sitting in your living room talking with you and then I reached down a pulled a nail out of my foot. A quick predawn search of an online dream dictionary indicates that it symbolizes “removing an obstacle that has prevented you from taking a step in the right direction.” So thanks for helping me get rid of whatever was holding me back, writingwise.

Nancy

 

“I felt as if every word went straight inside me.”Ann Taylor

 

The  examples are exuberant, irrepressible. Here’s a lone, enchanting example: Because you have that camera, you see not just the houses, but the light on them. That’s not a bad thing, noticing the light.

Joan Frank

 

If you’re just beginning, start here. If you’re an experienced writer, you’ll learn things you don’t know yet. I promise, you won’t be able to keep your fingers off the keyboard or pen from paper once you start NDR!—

Katherine Olivetti 

 

Lara answers the burning questions of all memoirists, and she does it in a voice and tone that make you believe she is your best friend from high school. Her advice is dead on, her tone encourages without forgetting that writing is hard damn work. This book shows you how to make that hard work result in something you’ll be proud to submit to an editor.

SeattleK8 Amazon.com

 

 

One of her more helpful hints is the exercise to write 500 words a day. It doesn’t have to be good but it does have to be 500 words and it does have to be every day. The discipline of writing (or trying to write) 500 words a day, knowing that they don’t have to be perfect, or necessarily even good the first time around, has freed me up to write more and more often. Patricia H. Kline

________________________

 

 

I’ve already highlighted passages I think will be helpful, and I’m not lending it to anyone. If you want to read this book, buy your own. Christian Walters

 

If you know anyone who wants to write, find an excuse to give this book as a birthday or holiday present, the sooner the better. Dr Cathy Goodwin (Seattle, WA USA)

 

 

 

The  advice and exercises apply equally to fiction writers… I can already feel the effects of the book on the composition of the stories always running in my head.A. B. King (Amazon.com)

Ms. Lara stresses finding a writing partner; something I have never done or considered. But she has convinced me otherwise and I will now seek such a partner…Alan Dale Daniel (Amazon.com)

 

Memoir Course in a Book! I’m taking a memoirwriting class at Grub Street, in Boston, and this book includes everything we’re covering in class (and then some). Howard Goldowsky, “ChessWriter” (Amazon.com)

 

 

Adair Lara could teach a rock to write. Lee Anna Hedges

 

This book completely changed my view of writing. Without delving into boring lessons, it gives you fun techniques to wake your brain and motivation up.L. Wimberley

 

The explanation about the difference between an anecdote and a story is one of the most useful passages I’ve read in a writing book

Teresa O’Neill

 

 

 

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About Adair Lara

Adair Lara 95 Scott Street San Francisco, CA 94117 415-626-9157 Adairlara.com Adair.lara@gmail.com Adair Lara is a writer, teacher and author in San Francisco. A former magazine editor, she wrote a popular, award-winning personal column for the San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years before leaving the paper to write and teach full time. She has appeared in dozens of national magazines. She is the author of 12 books and is a popular voice on Facebook, with 5000 friends who are mostly writers and teachers of writing, many well-known. Her most recent book, which has become a cult favorite in the writing blogsphere, is Naked, Drunk and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essays (Ten Speed). She is at work on another, with the working title Make Your Memoir Suck Less, on voice in the memoir. She holds sold-out workshops in her house on writing essay and memoir and other forms of autobiography, and consults with authors individually, in person or long-distance. Her essays appear in many national magazines, and have been anthologized in dozens of textbooks. • BOOKS • • Naked Drunk and Writing (TEN SPEED) 2011 • The Granny Diaries, Chronicle Books (2008) • The Bigger the Sign, the Worse the Garage Sale, Chronicle Books (2007) • You Know You’re a Writer When, Chronicle Books (2007) • Oopsie! Ouchie!, Chronicle Books (2004) • Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer, Chronicle Books, 2003 • Slowing Down in a Speeded-Up World, Redwheelweiser (2002) • Hold Me Close, Let Me Go, Broadway Books (2001) • The Best of Adair Lara, Scottwall Associates (1999) • At Adair’s House, Chronicle Books (1995) • Welcome to Earth, Mom, Chronicle Books (1992) • History of Petaluma, a California River Town Scottwall Associates 1982 • Anthologies (a sampling) • Over the Hill and Between the Sheets Springboard (2007) • The Secret Lives of Lawfully Wedding Wives Inner Ocean (2006) • Too Young to Be This Damn Old by Inc. Sourcebooks (Paperback - Mar 1, 2006) • The Thong Also Rises: Further Misadventures from Funny Women on the Road (Travelers’ Tales Guides) by Jennifer L. Leo, Ayun Halliday, and Laurie Notaro (2005) • A Sense of Place Shapiro (2004) • Sand in My Bra & Other Misadventures: Funny Women Write from the Road, Travelers’ Tales (2003) • Coming Alive From Nine to Five in a 24/7 World: A Career Search Handbook for the 21st Century by Betty Michelozzi, Linda Surrell, and Robert Cobez (2003) • The Nine Modern Day Muses: 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers, and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence by Jill Badonsky (2003) • How to Say It Style Guide by Rosalie Maggio (2002) • Romancing the Ordinary by Sarah Ban Breathnach (2002) • Paris: An Inspired Anthology and Travel Resource Three Rivers Press (2000) • Simple Pleasures of the Home: Cozy Comforts and Old-Fashioned Crafts for Every Room in the House by Susannah Seton (1999) • Mama Get the Hammer! There’s A Fly On Papa’s Head! by Barbara Johnson (1994) • A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 More Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit (Chicken Soup for the Soul) by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (1994) Awards: • 1990: Associated Press, Best Columnist in California. • 1997: Humor Columns for Newspapers over 100,000, National Society of Newspaper Columnists • 1998: First place, general interest columns, National Society of Newspaper Columnists. • 1999: Second place, commentary, American Association of Sunday and Feature editors contest, competing against papers with circulation over 300,000. • May 17, 2002 was declared Adair Lara Day in San Francisco by proclamation of Mayor Willie Brown Book consulting My students also include Robin Wolaner, founder of Parenting Magazine and author of “Naked in the Boardroom” ; Terry Gamble, author of several novels including “The Water Dancers”; Susan Parker, who wrote columns for the Chron and came out with “Tumbling After,” Peggy Vincent, author of “Babycatcher,” David Gottfried, author of “Greed to Green,” and James Frey, whom I told not to worry about making stuff up, no one would notice. (Ok, made up that one). JT Leroy may have taken my class, who knows? John Brooks The Girl Behind the Door The Girl Behind the Door (Simon & Shuster 2016) Without Adair's guidance, sharp wit, coaching, seasoned interviewing skills, succinct editing and experienced counsel, there is no way that my memoir would ever have been published. David Gottfried, author of “Greed to Green” Adair's keen editorial eye and sharp sense of story arc helped me pare a 500-page manuscript into a tighter, plot driven read. Her coaching and enthusiasm opened doors to locating an agent that had previously been bolted. Mary Patrick, author of Family Plots The Upside of Down -- will be published in September by a Melbourne publisher called Transit Lounge. Adair, I would not be in this position were it not for you. Your support, comments, feedback and encouragement were critical and came at a time when I was wondering why I was staying up late at night working on this book. Susan Biggar The Upside of Down -- will be published in September by a Melbourne publisher called Transit Lounge. Adair, I would not be in this position were it not for you. Your support, comments, feedback and encouragement were critical and came at a time when I was wondering why I was staying up late at night working on this book. Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs series When I first met Adair, I wasn’t at all sure where I ultimately wanted to go as a writer – although I did, and still do, harbor a deep wish to be an Adair Lara. Joining her personal essay workshops opened so many avenues of possibility, although Adair kept suggesting I try my hand at fiction. Eventually, I took the leap, sharing the first chapter of my novel, Maisie Dobbs with Adair, who pushed me to continue. Without her insightful guidance and encouragement, Maisie Dobbs might be just a couple of chapters collecting dust in a drawer.” Sunshine Mugrabi Based on your suggestions. I’ve cut the manuscript by about 20,000 words and three chapters. It’s down to about 93,000 words, 35 chapters. I’ve cut pocket bios, tightened dialog, looked for inconsistencies, listened for clinkers, tried to strip out redundancy and make the narrative taut and linear, while retaining the lyricism and improving pacing and rhythm. Your critique really helped me see how to cut and focus. I’ve carried your printed suggestions around for the past three months, the pages now tattered and coffee stained. I’m grateful for your thought- provoking suggestions and encouragement. Hey Adair: Hope you got my gushing call the other day. I LOVE what you've done for my book in too many ways to mention. Peggy Kennedy When I first met Adair, I wasn’t at all sure where I ultimately wanted to go as a writer – although I did, and still do, harbor a deep wish to be an Adair Lara. Joining her personal essay workshops opened so many avenues of possibility, although Adair kept suggesting I try my hand at fiction. Eventually, I took the leap, sharing the first chapter of my novel, Maisie Dobbs with Adair, who pushed me to continue. Without her insightful guidance and encouragement, Maisie Dobbs might be just a couple of chapters collecting dust in a drawer.” Lolly Winston, author of Good Grief This was my first writing workshop and it snowballed on me. First you talked about needing conflict/struggle in your story and I thought, "Well, crap. There goes my non-fiction piece about living in an RV for ten years. No conflict. Won't work." (I know - these are my thoughts and they're supposed to be italicized but the email font won't do it!) After the first day I was thinking maybe I should just try essays and forget my project. Then, on the second day, you honed in on specifics and I got inspired. I'm just going to write. I don't care if it gets published. I'll have my story and it will be mine to keep. Thank you for your humor, your insight, your warmth and your knowledge of writing which you so willingly Peggy Kennedy author of Neverland Hey Adair: Hope you got my gushing call the other day. I LOVE what you've done for my book in too many ways to mention.
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