“Sometimes I write drunk and revise sober, and sometimes I write sober and revise drunk. But you have to have both elements in creation — the Apollonian and the Dionysian, or spontaneity and restraint, emotion and discipline.”
I like to drink. I like the taste of beers, wines, and spirits. I like the sensations of tingling tongues and burning palates. I like the off-centered sensations. My mind works looser but not better. I feel freer to explore ideas, but almost always the result is crap. Writing and human relationship.
I think our brains are finely wired. Our Apollonian and the Dionysian modes are not independent but work in tandem. Each alone is almost useless. Alcohol sends us into this Apollonian mode, the creative world, but it blocks out the rational, focused world. Our thoughts and actions become psychedelic, not constructive.
I also have health issues that heavy drinking would only exacerbate and append. While getting lost in the netherworld of the bottle is attractive at times, getting lost from the world is not as pretty. Yet, I have decided to try to incorporate alcohol into my writing.
I am going to try to use finer drinks as a reward system: accomplish something significant, have a toddy. Some significant milestones include finishing editing chapters and scenes, revisions of stories, and of course any awards or publications (should that ever happen). Finish a chapter, celebrate with a shot of Writers Tears.
Reading is also important to me. I firmly believe any writer needs to read and study what he or she reads. A writer cannot write that killer story without understanding the lessons of both published masters and clunkers. Reading is so important to me, I would almost consider a good old drunk for each book, but I’ll settle for a lone shot of single malt.
I do not condone writing or editing drunk, and not because I think it’s evil. If you want to do it, go write ahead. But I know it doesn’t work for me. I am now calling bottles of spirits bottles of encouragement and each shot a notch in my pen marking success.