Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier

Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier

by Joni B. Cole


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In Good Naked, acclaimed author Joni B. Cole shows readers how to make the writing process not only more productive, but less maddening, more inviting, and even joyful, at least a good part of the time. She explains how sharing early drafts is “good naked”—you’re exposing your creative process in all its glory. Through a mix of engaging stories and practical wisdom, all delivered with sheer good humor, Cole addresses the most common challenges writers confront and offers disarmingly simple but effective solutions. She debunks popular misconceptions about how we are supposed to write and replaces them with strategies that actually work to get us started and stay motivated. (Searching for your muse? Try looking in the fridge.) With a do-this-not-that directness, she sets writers free from debilitating attitudes, counterproductive practices, and energy-draining habits that undermine confidence and creativity. Equipped with experience and a refreshing respect for anyone who wants to write, Cole also infuses every chapter with insights into craft and narrative technique—because the truly happy ending is not just that we write more, but that we write well. If you have ever experienced a sense of dread or intimidation at any stage of the creative process, or even if you simply want to write more, write better, and be happier, this intelligent, funny, and generous guide will not only inspire you to head over to your desk, but will also cheer you on once you’re there.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611689112
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 871,712
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Nominated for a US Fellowship Award and Pushcart Prize, Joni B. Cole has authored two books for writers, including Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (listed as one of the "Best Books for Writers" by Poets & Writers magazine). She is also the author of the acclaimed essay collection, Another Bad-Dog Book: Essays on Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior, andcreator of the three-volume “This Day” series that shares a day in the life of hundreds of women across America (“fascinating and eye-opening,” Publisher's Weekly).Joniis on the creative writing faculty of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and teaches workshops within the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. She is the founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, VT, and also leads expressive writing workshops at a diversity of nonprofit and educational organizations. Joni is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities around the country, and is a contributor to The Writer magazine. She lives in Vermont and has two daughters. For more info, email

Table of Contents

Preface: Cheerleader for Mediocrity • PLANET WRITER • First Things First (Not) • Planet Writer • The Writer from Vermont • Survival of the Optimist • You Know You’re Not a Writer When . . . • In Good Company • What a Week! • GOOD NAKED • If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going . . . • Good Naked • Can I Be Honest? • The Reverse Curse • The Great American Thing • Every. Single. Day. • The Church of the Creative Process • SEEING BLUE • Drama Queen • Seeing Blue • A Walk around the Block • Heart to Heart • Decluttering • Happy Endings • Acknowledgments • About the Author

What People are Saying About This

C. I. Dennis

“Belongs on every writer’s bookshelf next to their copy of Strunk and White. . . . You don’t have to suffer for your art, and Cole will make you laugh out loud and nod in agreement as she explains why.”

Gina Barreca

“Brilliant, instructive, and witty . . . an essential read for everyone who wants to write or keep writing.”

Cynthia Huntington

“Joyful, tough-minded, and heartening, these pages offer encouragement to everyone from beginners to experienced writers. . . . One of the best books for writers I’ve read in a very long time.”

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Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Phylly-Willy More than 1 year ago
FANTASTIC! ! ! Any and every woman who wants to feel a part of the Human race, on good days and bad, should read this book! Joni takes an ordinary day and makes it extraordinary! Her writing talent speaks for itself: so clear, crisp, comedic and conversational! She is not to be missed. I laughed throughout each chapter and found myself nodding in agreement and wanting to "talk back" as in "discuss" and have a pajama party with the author! She brings out the best in us by writing with candor, authenticity and intelligence unparalleled in most books of this genre. BUY THIS BOOK, NOW! ! ! You'll feel better, walk with a skip in your step and learn more about life, love and YOURSELF! A++++! !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joni B. Cole’s book, Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better & Be Happier feels like a long conversation you would have with an author friend sitting in a café. Of course, it may have taken 41,000 drafts to get there, but she succeeded in making us, poor mortal writers, feel like we are not alone in our procrastination and other insecurities and that we can overcome our fears. Joni writes in a caring and enthusiastic voice with a knowledge explained by her many years teaching and hosting workshops on writing. I found this book incredibly useful because it not only helped me move forward with my writing, but it also taught me to quiet the negative voices around me. I was sad when I finished the book. I felt like I had to say goodbye to a friend, but now I can start taking her advice to heart and be happy writing!
alisonnic More than 1 year ago
Joni is funny, smart, and inspiring. She had me laughing out loud every few pages, and smiling almost every page. More importantly, Joni debunks many of the poisonous myths that have plagued the writing community for decades. As an English major in college, I had such negative experiences in creative writing classes that I didn't write again for thirty years. Then I met Joni, and began participating in her workshops. Through her instruction, and by osmosis in the wonderful, inspring learning atmosphere she creates in her workshops, I unlearned the bad stuff and learned how positive an experience writing can be. In her workshops and elsewhere, guided by her passion and motivated by her enthusiasm, I've written three books: a novel, a book of memoir and essays, and a book of poetry. Writing, revising, and bringing each book to completion has been a powerful and very positive experience for me - experiences I would never have had if not for Joni. For those not fortunate enough to be able to participate in Joni's workshops, this book is a way to experience the same kind of positive, creativity-reinforcing, motivating philosophy and instruction which I and many others have experienced in her company. If you've ever wondered if you might be a writer, or longed to put words on the page but weren't sure how to start, please get this book. And start having fun whlie writing.
HBa More than 1 year ago
It’s a gem! Joni Cole’s latest book “Good Naked” sparkles with insights that will encourage aspiring and seasoned writers alike to move beyond the stuckness of the “suffering artist.” Cole’s passion for writing and the creative process is infectious and her masterfully crafted essays make me think and laugh and…more happily… get on with my next draft. “Good Naked” should be required reading in every writing program!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a writer, this book is like having a hilarious guardian angel on your shoulder, cheering you on and often making you laugh out loud. Forget the nattering devil on the other shoulder who says you're a hopeless hack. Writing, like any other endeavor that involves putting yourself out there, takes some courage. It also takes an understanding of the craft, and Cole's book teaches while it motivates and entertains. Funny, instructive, personal, and wise essays that will help you write more and worry less.