Writing under the alfluence of incohol
I have always been unusually attracted to alcohol to the extent that I must discipline myself to abstain for a while when guilt starts to override the pleasure. I buy ‘Every Day’ vodka and, whilst I realise that’s a brand and not a prescription or a recommendation, I do find it’s the best thing for easing aches and pains or picking me up when I come home knackered and still have stuff to do. Most people I know would only have a drink with a companion, to be sociable. I have never had a problem with drinking alone. I have been on the wagon for seventeen days and I look forward to starting to drink again at some point in the future, but with a little more reverence, and certainly not Every Day. I don’t particularly feel healthier for not drinking … there are still days of feeling tired and crappy, which I might have put down to having one too many the night before, except I haven’t had any the night before. Not that I do very often have a hangover these days – I am careful to get the ‘dosage’ right since ageing makes hangovers worse and longer lasting, and during the week I am conscious of early morning driving. Maybe the aspartame and sucralose in the soft drinks I knock back to quash the cravings at my habitual drinking time are doing more harm than the alcohol?
So, where is the connection with writing? I’m getting there but you can see how fixated I am!
Last weekend I was looking forward to starting to write my new novel. It was the Jubilee weekend so I had two extra days off work to get stuck in and expected to have it well underway by the end of Tuesday … only it didn’t happen. I spent hours staring at the laptop screen and then wandering off; finding no end of distractions to avoid writing. I would rather have scrubbed the kitchen floor (it needs it) than start the new novel – but I didn’t do that either (maybe tomorrow).
Now, I’m not saying I write well when drunk – the reverse is true – but at least I would have written something. Alcohol loosens up my keyboard like it loosens some people’s tongues, and my fingers would not have been able to keep up with the flow of narrative – and I would have felt good for being on a roll and for getting so much done. Then the next day, sober, I would have tightened it up by deleting a fair portion of superfluous waffle but at least I’d be much further on than I am now.
At least I’ve written this, on a Saturday night, without booze … so I have written something. Hopefully I will make better progress with the book tomorrow. I might even clean the kitchen floor.
Great post, Jules! It is tricky, isn’t it? We fall into habits and then the bad habits become part of the good habits and we’re stuck in a cycle. Maybe that’s the real issue… if we become aware of the pattern we need to change it. When it’s working we tend not to question it. So a little break from any habit is a good thing, I think. Give it a chance to work, and maybe you’ll discover another igniter of the spark.
Thanks for that Dean, bless you. I once noticed on one of your Tweets that you hardly ever drink because you enjoy your senses too much to want to dull them. That was one of the things that prompted me to take a break – to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.
Wordpress always gives you a little random quote about writing when you publish a post. I had to laugh at last night’s quote; “I am a drinker with a writing problem”.
Oh well, I have cleaned the kitchen floor today …
Hope there is somewhere near you that sells tea on a Sunday!
Well floors need cleaning, especially kitchen ones! 😉
I like being a bit tipsy, which only takes a couple of glasses of wine, but I don’t like being actually drunk, which takes two to three pints of beer for me. Once my vision/speach/thought processes become slurry I don’t like it at all. For me it’s like feeling ill. I’ve never responded to alcohol very well, physically speaking.
Haha! The quotes are syncing with your mood!
Had to make do with various fruit teas I’ve got a stash of, but can’t wait to get some ‘real’ tea tomorrow. The only thing for miles is a post office, but they keep a good stock of other stuff too.
I really get this Jules. I find I am much more creative after a little tipple. The writing leaves a lot to be desired but that can be re-edited the next day. It’s the creativity that flows better and the ideas for a theme will come to me. I think it’s just because a glass of wine when the kids are in bed after a stressfull day really helps me to unwind. I also sometimes edit my photograph better as my mood towards the shot has altered but I always re-do them in the day or of an week day evening so I can decide which version I prefer.