Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Drinking and writing

I was initially going to take a day off of blogging for a couple of reasons, but it's Towel Day, and so I absolutely must write, if for no other reason than to pay homage to Mr. Adams.

Some time ago I wrote about what authors drink, and it turned into an interesting bit of research for me.  Many authors are or have been known for their alcohol consumption...take, for example, Stephen King.  In the 80's, he got into drug and alcohol abuse to the point where it serves a significant role in his book On Writing.  His advice, loud and clear in the book, is this: don't do it.  It's a crutch, he says. 

I've written about my own enjoyment of a nice beer or a whiskey after a long day of work, myself.  Of course, I tend to write after work, which means I often drink and write at the same time.  The thing is, I usually don't drink very much, so it's never been an issue.  Last night was different, though.  I had a particularly rough day at work, and so I picked up a particularly tasty and strong beer (Double Bastard, from the makers of Arrogant Bastard...yum) on the way home.  Then I drank it.  It was so good, I drank another.  By the time I started writing, I was feeling beyond relaxed and into pretty darn giddy.  Did my thousand words, ish, and then moseyed on off to bed. 

So this morning, I got up and read over what I'd written, and as a result, I won't drink that much and write ever again, I assure you.  I mean, it was garbage.  Crap, with a capital k.  Total crap, with a capital tk.  I had written the scene where Thor introduces our beautiful and capable (and quite beaten up, by this point) heroine to his hall of warriors for dinner after a long day of her sparring with the thunder god.  I know how I want that scene to sound, and what I read this morning wasn't it.  What I'd written sounded more like Jimmy Carter introducing the Queen of England to a frat house.  Ugh.  It's not even worthy of mere deletion; I feel like I have to print it out so I can stomp on it, mark it up in a black magic marker, and then shred it. 

Ah, well.  At least I didn't totally waste my time.  I got some experience, and as I learned to say a long time ago in the Army, experience is what you got when you didn't get what you wanted.  As I'm re-writing that scene tonight, I'll start with a hundred times of repeating:  If you drink, don't write.  If you write, don't drink. 

Word Count: 73,407

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