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.