This might well be my most ill-advised, irresponsible blog post yet. However, it’s not like someone else advised me not to write this. I advised myself that it was wrong, then battled it out in my head and….yeah I won. So here goes nothing!! (afterall, I’ve never let inhibitions get in my way before! Just keep reading….please… )
Ernest’s “Write Drunk: Edit Sober”
Writers, have you ever tried Ernest’s “Write Drunk: Edit Sober”? I’m actually advising you, right here, right now, to try it. Is this advice ill-conceived? Is it inappropriate? Is it wrong, you ask? Is it strange that everywhere else on my blog I’ve tried, perhaps unsuccessfully, to tell you not to drink because alcohol is the devil in disguise? Well, yes. I did say that and it’s true, very true. But…there’s just something about drinking and writing. (or choose your poison of choice, drugs could also be effective. You didn’t just hear me say that. I wrote it, but I didn’t mean it. Or did I?).
Writerly Inhibitions, We’ve All Got ‘Em
Now I’m going to tell you why drinking and writing is awesome. It’s called inhibitions. You know those little voices in your head that tell you you shouldn’t be doing something? Like the voice that tells you that twirl dancing on table tops in 4 inch heels at your favorite bar might be a bad idea for more reasons than you can count? Or that hooking up with a certain person will surely lead to emotional bankruptcy and happiness foreclosure? As you might know, those little problems (or fail safes?) tend to go away when you drink. And in public, at a bar or in a relationship or one night stand, a loss of inhibitions might just get you into trouble.
Not so with writing! (so long as you don’t publish anything while under the influence!)
Have You Ever Seen Me Sporting an Inhibition???
You might have noticed that I appear to have no inhibitions on this blog. This is patently false because I have lots of hang ups and inhibitions and can be a writing prude (ha). Usually my apparent lack of inhibitions can be traced back to poor impulse control or PIC (I’m suffering from it right now, who can tell me what med with ridic side effects that involves things like loss of appetite, dry mouth, strange twitches, night terrors and possible premature death can “cure” it?). I may possibly have a problem with…reckless abandon and flash decision making. It’s true that I might…throw caution to the wind. I might…speak my mind without care for the consequences. But I gotta say…it feels good…most of the time.
Will You Lend Me Your Head? Mine is Bothersome.
However when I write fiction…there are often inhibitions, hang ups and quite frankly too much “me” in my head getting involved with my writing. These inhibitions are why I’ll never write historical fiction. Every single line has me second guessing, wondering about historical accuracy. You could very easily say that I spend way too much time in my head. Thinking and over thinking, analyzing and worrying. Will you lend me your head for a week? (We’ll talk more about that offline) These are those meddling voices that criticize every single line I write. And sometimes it’s impossible to get past them and I end up writing flat uninteresting chapters. This is when writing and drinking can shine and creative freedom reign supreme.
Take a Hit of the 1960’s and Free Your Freaking Mind…Man!
Take for example the music of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s trippy, it’s free, sometimes it doesn’t make sense, but it does so in a totally awesome badass poetic way. Compare that to today’s auto tuned, professional song writer written, pop star warbled, mass produced songs. There’s a big difference.
The difference is that the 60’s and 70’s were about “freeing your mind….mannnnn.” And I’m not trying to over simplify, although I’m sure I am anyway.
Once in the car I asked my husband if the people in my favorite rock bands from the 60’s and 70’s were on drugs and he of course said, hell yes they were. Why do you think their music is so stunning?
Stop Dousing Yourself With Nagging Criticism
The reason is that they were FREE to be themselves. Uniquely themselves without those little voices that destroy so much of our creativity. They were uninhibited. I’m not saying that drugs and alcohol somehow changed them or gave them special powers because that isn’t the case at all. It’s my belief that alcohol and drugs can reduce your inhibitions and allow you to be open to the deeper you, the creative you without the constant nagging criticism that you douse yourself with like a potent perfume that ignites when too close to any kind of genius.
I know. The most ill-advised blog post ever, telling people to drink or do drugs. And of course there are serious problems associated with drinking etc.
Please Use Protection
Just be safe! Practice precaution! Use protection! (wrong blog post?) Purposefully forget the password to your blog or change it so you can’t post while drunk!
But keep in mind the edit sober part. That’s very important. Let yourself be free to write with abandon, to write without the self criticism and then later reread what you’ve done and polish it.
Tell me, how can this not be successful?
Just don’t drive, just don’t party or sleep with anyone, don’t drink too much or you’ll get a nasty hangover. All you need to do is take a glass of wine to your favorite writing spot, just you, alcohol, a computer or pen and paper. Then free your mind…man and see what happens.
Cause when alcohol gets your muse stinkin’ stumblin’ drunk, you need to shut up, listen and take notes! It’s gonna be genius!!!
The Aging Writer and Her Notebook…A Love Story
I’m totally gonna try this soon, like really put my mind to it. But for some reason whenever I drink, I just end up in front of the TV. One of these days though…my notebook better watch out cause I’m about to get freaky up in its pages!! It’s gonna be a partayyyy!!
Is that the saddest party you’ve ever heard of? A drunk, aging writer and her notebook? (I describe myself as “aging” at 30, what of it?) It’s a love story people! Not star-crossed lovers, but lovers who are meant to be! Who will defy reason by coming together to make sweet sweet music. And yeah…it’ll be the best psychedelic party ever!
Just go with it, humor me…please. The aging writer and her notebook are very sensitive to criticism.
Go forth, my writerly friends and follow Ernest’s sage advice!