Monday, May 25, 2009

Writing While Intoxicated

A freelance writer uses the five Ws and good humor to show how a little alcohol can enhance your writing and creativity

WWI. No, I’m not referring to World War I. WWI means Writing While Intoxicated.

Why not write while you’re enjoying a little buzz? People say some of the funniest things when they are drunk. Some of the greatest philosophies were born in a Manhattan stupor. Me? Well, I have attempted to solve all the world’s problems after drinking a few imported beers. So, I figure an inebriated state of being might as well be put to good use.

There should be some parameters regarding this undertaking, I suppose. Let’s begin with a preparatory paragraph and go with the five W’s of any great article: who, what, when, where and why. And, just to show you a good example of a well-organized paper, I’ll make sure I give a clear opening, informative body and strong summary to close.


Once intoxicated, you will probably feel inspired so make sure you have pen and paper handy before you pop the top of your favorite beverage. Otherwise, you will be writing your sex sermon on the beach on whatever scraps of paper you can scrounge up—a menu, a napkin, an envelope, or the back of a grocery receipt (probably the one from the market where you bought your “WWI supplies”). I’ve even written on a chewing gum wrapper when a moment of creativity arose without warning. If you are writing while intoxicated at your computer, you may find your fingers are quite clumsy and that remembering your passwords is difficult when you try to lager on. Still, this option may work well for those who shouldn’t be handling sharp objects like a pencil or a Screwdriver.

Who to Drink with While You Write

Who you drink and write with is important. You want someone you can trust, who will not divulge the secrets of your screenplay or plagiarize your novel once the two of you are sober. Since you probably won’t remember what you said while intoxicated, writing while drinking can be useful the next day when your best friend says you listed all your past lovers after a couple rounds of Jello shots. A written record is good, but make sure that whatever you write ends up in your pocket when the evening ends.

What to Drink While You Write

Despite the fact that each of us has a favorite drink, it is important to know how you are personally affected by certain types of alcohol. Tequila makes me silly. Rum makes me angry. Beer makes me have to pee. Wine makes me sleepy. If Whiskey makes you sour, stay away from it. If a martini makes you feel dirty, write romance or soft porn. If a cola makes you hyper, stick with that and forego the morning-after headache. Choose your beverage according to the task at hand.

When to Drink and Write

It doesn’t matter whether you plan to WWI in the day or at night. It is always five o’clock somewhere in Margaritaville. However, preparation is necessary, especially in Tennessee where the liquor stores are closed all day on Sunday and the grocery stores can’t sell beer until after the clock strikes noon on the Western-modified Sabbath. The distillery that makes Jack Daniels is located in a dry county. Therefore, you will need to get the ingredients for your cocktail ahead of time. It’s no comfort, Southern or otherwise, to be caught without proper equipment.

Where to Drink and Write

Do you want to be drunk in public or in private? I always opt for private encounters with my drunken muse. Oh, yes. The muse gets drunk when you do. You don’t want to be doing the backseat boogie with a stranger in a cab on the way home. I certainly do not suggest you attempt to drive soon after you’ve been drinking and writing. I don’t advise you to write and drive either. I’ve seen people to do this. You can get pulled over for driving while writing on a used tissue.

Why to Drink and Write

A glass or two of wine can blur the edges of reality allowing you to color outside the proverbial lines without being anal about doing it wrong. Or, in our case as writers, we can write outside the margins and completely off the page when we are less inhibited.

Creativity emerges when we’re not worried about editing or being edited.

A limitation on libation should be enforced if you want writing that is legible. Too many shooters and you’ll be up the creek without a Maiden’s Prayer. Although writing while drinking is a great tonic for keeping your gin up, you should drink responsibly and write responsively.

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