I am dubbing this RECYCLE WEDNESDAY, AKA, I haven’t written anything for my own post in awhile and I’m feeling guilty so I would like to bring back an older post.  Why this one? Because I like it.  Read it, comment on it, share it if you care.  

I have been engaged in “clean eating” over the past couple of weeks and it is boring the shit out of me.  Physically, I feel great.  Mentally, I want to gouge my eyes out. I am bored.  I miss chips and salsa and gin and tonics.

I noticed today that I haven’t written a blog post since January 5th. Whenever this happens I start to feel really disappointed in myself. I internally berate myself for not doing better and being more committed to my writing.

Then today I also realized that I haven’t had much alcohol between my last blog post and now. My creative juices definitely flow faster when I have enjoyed one or two glasses of wine.

Don’t judge me.  I am certainly not an alcoholic. I am not even an alcoholic in denial.  But, some of the best writers in the world were alcoholics, writing their best novels while inebriated.  Truman Capote was writing In Cold Blood while enjoying a double martini before lunch, during lunch and maybe even after lunch.


Jack Kerouac died at the age of 47 from cirrhosis of the liver. He wrote his infamous book On The Road in 3 weeks, probably the result of heavy drinking. I myself enjoyed reading On The Road, which I chose to read as a 16-year-old my Junior year of High School. I am grateful it wasn’t banned at the time.  Cheers to freedom of speech.


We have an entire bookshelf dedicated to Charles Bukowski, an American poet from Los Angeles.  Bukowski is lewd and crewd in his writing and also refreshingly honest and pragmatic.  He is said to have started his love affair with the bottle at the youthful age of 13 after enduring much abuse from his father.


F. Scott Fitzgerald spent the 20s drinking himself to death.  He died in 1940 at 44 years of age after suffering a heart attack attributed to crazy alcohol abuse.  One can almost picture him as Jay Gatsby, the socialite partier main character in The Great Gatsby.


But when I have my glass of wine sitting on my nightstand and my MacBook Air on my lap, feeling the creative juices flowing, I think of only one writer.  The great Ernest Hemingway, whose alcoholism is widely documented. He is said to have written many of his books while intoxicated.  Unfortunately, alcohol and mental illness led to his demise in 1961 when he ended his life with a shotgun.


My husband, a great fan of Charles Bukowski, says that Bukowski’s drinking only gave him material for which to write about. Bukowski did not necessary write while intoxicated. I can see how this is possible.  Hemingway was said to mix late night drinking binges with productive daytime writing.  His son claimed he had an immunity to hangovers.

I am no Hemingway, Bukowski, Capote or Kerouac.  I do not drink too much.  I do not binge.  I do not write as they write. I feel my hangovers like a train hitting my head and the stomach flu, simultaneously.

As I get older, excessive drinking becomes less appealing for its after-effects.  But I do know that a cocktail does stimulate some creativity, and for that I am grateful.

When I am schlepping kids around in the minivan listening to them singing every single word of the Frozen Soundtrack at the top of their lungs, I do not feel creative.  When I find myself singing every word to every lyric of the Frozen Soundtrack at the top of my lungs AFTER I drop the kids off to school, I feel even less creative.

So cheers to an adult moment with a good glass of wine (or two), to relax me and my inhibitions and allow for the creative process to emerge.


Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

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Drinking & Writing: An American Pastime

2 thoughts on “Drinking & Writing: An American Pastime

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Meg, I am wondering why all the effort I have put into having a glass of wine to bring out the Nobel Literature Prize book that must, by now,be waiting in my head. It’s getting late, how many more glasses do I need to have? Watch this space!. Bette

  • October 4, 2014 at 12:39 am

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