Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Writing and drinking: Same rules apply

by Stacey

I found this piece from Sunday's NYT book review enlightening and entertaining. The combination of booze and the written word goes way back and for good reason. Both offer pleasure, escapism, and the ability to keep one up late into the night. I'm especially fond of Keith Waterhouse's advice that you should never drink while you're writing, but it's ok to write while you're drinking. The similarities Nicholson hits on between drinking and writing are clever, and funny.

For anyone who likes to drink, read, write, or any combination of the three, you'll enjoy this essay. Feel free to share your own stories of boozing and writing, or your favorites from history.


  1. I advise not Twittering while enjoying drinks. (Won't do that again!)

  2. LOL, Twittering while drinking does sound like a bad idea. ;)

    Neil Gaiman has a hilarious short story/essay about drinking and writing, as well.

    There's a video of him reading it in the special features of A Short Film About John Bolton, so it's probably on YouTube, too.

    Definitely worth a watch.

    Thanks for the links!

  3. One evening after more than a couple of Margaritas, I sat down to write the next Great American Novel. I typed away like a madwoman. By the wee hours of the morning I had an epiphany, a moment of lucidity - this was going to be my one time Harper Lee moment! I finally ran out of steam in the morning and went to bed. When I woke up in the afternoon, I remembered the night before. I got up eager to read my chef-d'oeuvre. This is what the pages of my novel looked like:

    Ue[@ Yjod od ejsy ,u ,sdyrt[orvr ;pplrf ;olr@@@

    Translation: Yep! This is what my masterpiece looked like!!!

    Somehow, when I sat down to type, I placed my fingers one key over to the right from where they should have been.

    Moral of the story: Fpmy ftoml smf yu[r@ (Don't drink and type!!!)

  4. I have resisted the temptation to drink while writing. It's not always easy, but I'd rather not be dependent on a vice in order to get any meaningful work done -- I predict far too much harm would come to myself in the end if I went that route.

    That being said, I know plenty who drink as they write: some only a glass of wine, others, copious amounts of whiskey.

    Whatever works, I suppose.