Alcohol in the writing life

“Alcohol is often a strong current in the writing life”…

“Why do writers drink? The answer might be “for the same reasons as everyone else”. The evidence from Alcoholics Anonymous is that writers do drink, but then so do cobblers, surgeons and street sweepers. Alcoholics are not all creative, sensitive and intelligent, though there is often a self-pitying grandiosity which persuades the boozer that he is uniquely blessed, or cursed, by thin skin.

“But if writers are no more likely to be alcoholics, they will more commonly write about it. And the justifications, evasions and fabulations of the serious drinker find a parallel in the creative act of the writer, whose livelihood depends on the creative reshaping of reality, the juggling of dreams and the generation of alternative realities.

“The challenge for the writer who tries to write while drunk, rather than simply rewarding himself with a drink when the day’s work is done, is that the same chemical relaxation afforded by alcohol quickly destroys any sense of the rhythm of a sentence.”

From: m.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday

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