Note: A few years ago I wrote a series of pieces on “What’s Important.” They got a decent amount of traffic on my old blog, so I’ve decided to re-run them on my new site.
. But here’s the strange thing: these days, I basically only drink when I write. Yes, I still often need alcohol to be social, but I’m finding that more and more lately I have no problems interacting with other humans completely stone cold sober. Granted, there are a lot of factors at play there (like how much interaction I’ve had recently and who the people are), but alcohol is no longer essential for me to be social.
It still is for my writing.
That’s probably a little hyperbolic. I’m writing this totally sober, although I’ll admit that I have a glass of Buffalo Trace bourbon sitting on the desk. I do all of my editing stone cold sober. I wrote most of “Master of the House” without a drop to drink (that’s probably hyperbole, too), at least the initial draft. Some stories are easier than others. But “Pray” is soaked in whiskey. So is “Unrequited.”
Here’s the thing: great writers write every day, and great writers don’t need anything other than themselves to be great writers. They just sit down and do it. That’s the real lesson here: that great writer within me that needs alcohol to come out might be crazy talented, but he’s not very diligent, and I need that just as much as I need him.
Besides, once Nicole and I have kids, I don’t know how I’ll be able to keep this up.
Writing sober: the next frontier.
Miles Iz Ded by the Afghan Whigs