They have been paired together forever, authors and alcohol. But why?
Are authors really a drunk lot? I’m assuming many more write sober than write drunk, but the image persists: a man (usually), his pen, (or typewriter, or computer) and his favorite drink:
My always present writerly companion seems to be my cat. She will not let me write alone. See this picture? It is me, writing this post, with my cat:
She hears me settle in, and must be a part of things. First, she tries to play with me, I guess because she knows that as my mind wanders, I have a tendency to either jack with and play with her, or pet her, in procrastination mode.
But, I must admit, that a shot glass is often also beside me as I write. I have a decent size shot glass, slide an ice cube in it, and fill it to the brim with my favorite- Jameson Irish Whiskey.
I think for me it is part routine, and part ‘I’d probably be sipping Jameson anyway, may as well get some work done.’
I discovered alcohol, and Jameson in particular, long before I started writing, so I don’t think the writing begat the liquor. I just like liquor. I like wine, some of my husband’s beers, and sipping on shots.
I haven’t actually shot a shot in years, since my bar days, (which were hella-fun, BTW, damn I miss wearing corsets with jeans sometimes) but now I just sip them. I like to sample different whiskeys, as well, when we travel. That’s how I found Jameson, actually. Touring the old distillery in Ireland. Before that trip, tequilla was my go-to. Now, I sample and sip whiskey.
I like cinnamon whiskey. There is a caramel whiskey we found in Gatlinburg, TN that my husband loved, we ended up buying three bottles, the caramel, the cinnamon, and a normal whiskey. I fear I’ve corrupted him.
Davy Crockett’s Salty Caramel, that was it. And their Cinnamon. They even had Chocolate Whiskey! If you are ever walking that street (if you’ve been there, you know the one) in Gatlinburg, stop in at Davy Crockett’s and sample all their shit!
Oh also, Jim Beam has a Red Stag line, and their Black Cherry is delightful. Goes down way too easy, my friends. Way too easy. Sometimes I mix it with Jameson (Shh!!!) just to lower the sweetness.
Anyway, I’ve gotten a bit off topic. I’m blaming the Jameson beside me, as I write this.
One of my favorite quotes has been attributed to both Shakespeare and Hemingway, “Write drunk, edit sober.” I think it is because I can relate.
There is something about settling in to write, the Ipad on the kitchen table, or the laptop on my lap in the spare bedroom for quiet, a cat on the keyboard, a full shot beside me, that just opens the floodgates to my words.
It seems to slide the rational, thinking part of my brain aside, and allow all the things us women are told we aren’t supposed to like, to just flow out onto the page.
Normally, I’m a classy mom, someone you’d be shocked to realize writes what I write. Or even thinks about what I think about. But a bit of whiskey, and the judgement turns to Jr. High giggles, and a story just magically appears out of nowhere.
I think I do some of my best work slightly sauced. I don’t get hammered. I don’t drive after drinking, I don’t wake up hungover, I don’t lose chunks of time, I just enjoy sipping on a couple of shots as my creative side comes out to play.
I re-read my work later, and edit it, completely sober. But I have found two things to be true, for me at least. One, I usually don’t need to change very much that I wrote while drinking. The spelling is mostly caught by spell check, but very few things need rework.
My latest piece, which you will find at the end of this post, was a prime example. I originally wrote everything from her perspective in first person, because that is how most of my shorts are. But then during his point of view, I reverted to third person. The two didn’t play well with each other. So I re-wrote her point of view into third as well. And that was just about all the editing it needed.
The second thing I’ve realized is that my slightly sauced mind can really turn a phrase. When I reread things later, sober, I am always prepared for it to be sheer crap, but it never is.
Once my judgemental, day-to-day, mom, wife, classy member of society-ness moves out of the way, I’m really quite good. Phrases pop that would never have flown had I been stone-ass sober. Of course, that is only my own opinion, but still. I’m usually quite surprised with myself when I re-read myself.
So maybe that’s why so many authors drink? It releases the creative mind? Gets the rational out of the way a bit?
Any authors out there who want to chime in on their soberness while writing? Any readers who think they can tell between an author’s sober musings and their liquor-loosened work?
There is a paranormal bundle coming out soon, that I very desperately wanted to be a part of, only I had no erotic paranormal stories to contribute. Even though shifter romance/erotica is something I quite enjoy reading, I hadn’t written any yet.
I do have a longer, four-part erotic romance shifter in the works, but for this bundle I needed a shorter story.
So, I poured myself some Jameson, sat down with my cat, and wrote one. It’s the most I’ve ever written in one sitting. I started about 4:30 one afternoon, and nine hours later, at about 1:30 am, I had Alpha Bitten written. Completely sauced by then of course.
It cracks me up. It is a shifter story, but it kind of, almost, makes fun of shifter stories, at the same time. Full moon, fairy circle, naked chanting, the whole works. I love them, so the making-fun-of is not done meanly, but is done with love.
Anyway, if anyone wants to read a story that kind of makes fun of my own love of shifters, that was written completely in one sitting, with very little rewritting, while drunk- here it is, my newest release, Alpha Bitten. It’s free for those in Kindle Unlimited, but if the cheapskates amoung you (like me) want to wait a bit, it will be free for everyone the next time I post here- from 10/10 – 10/14. I’ll remind ya then if you’d rather wait.