Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Really Good Book on Writing Personal Essays and Memoir

All I have for you today is a book recommendation. Even if you're primarily a fiction writer, you may have the opportunity to submit personal essays to anthologies or magazines from time to time.  And you may want to blog about the world-changing events in your life. Those blog posts qualify as personal essays too.

And when you become famous, you'll definitely want to write and publish your memoirs, assuming there's no one left alive in your family to embarrass.

Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay by Adair Lara is a very good book. I can't remember who recommended it, but when I discovered it in the local library, I decided to check it out. It's educational, but it's also entertaining.

With her sense of humor and excerpts from other works, Adair treats the reader to a fine introduction to the art of baring your soul on the printed page.

Not that I'd ever do such a thing.

8 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Not a bad set of lessons at all for an author to learn. I've found that lots of writers are shy about themselves and their lives, and it's nice to have some direction as to what to include in a personal narrative and how to go about writing one.

Julie Luek said...

I've been looking for a good memoir writing book to buy. I've perused a few titles, but would rather invest in one that comes with a recommendation from someone I trust. Thanks Pat!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Margot. I've often been tempted to submit to something like Chicken Soup for the Soul, but didn't have a clue how to write an essay like that.

Julie, I thought of you several times while reading this book. You already do a fine job with personal essay in your blogging, but you'll like the book anyway.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not that I would either!

Patricia Stoltey said...

LOL Alex.

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like a great book - even though I have no intention of doing a memoir! :)

MadelineAnn said...

Great idea - but I'm working on getting known as an author first - who'd want to read about me otherwise?!!

Mari G said...

Thanks for your recommendation, Patricia. I actually read this book a couple of years ago when my novel stalled & enjoyed it and am now working on memoir. It's dug out again for a re-read!