Laying Off the Alcohol

Today I begin my new job. But last week, a lot of little things have been going on. Among events in my life, I got comments back for my first novel and began work yesterday, giving it a final once over and correcting canon concerns. I’m trying to have the final draft ready no later than a month. I also have a critical review of Avengers: Age of Ultron that I’m tinkering with.

giLiverGrayBB1085Finally, I’m giving up drinking for a month.

I don’t really have any substance abuse problems. But I am heavy drinker, and there’s a fine line between that and being an alcoholic. Given good reason, I’ll abstain. But when I have a green flag to drink, I tend to consume a great deal, which has become an insidiously bad habit. I’ve been hearing some about what happens when a person stops drinking for about a month and I think the biggest attraction has to be the ease of getting sleep, as rest hasn’t been coming to me very easily since I moved.

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the situations that lead me to the bottle, and it really depends on the people with whom I’m spending time. With most coworkers, I usually cap out at a reasonable two drinks. Strangers, usually just one unless we hit it off. But with my closer friends, there often isn’t much of a limit, and four or even five drinks can come and go in the blink of a few hours. This can sound alarming, but one of the things that enabled me was my proximity to home; I walked or took the metro, and never drove.

My new place in Virginia is a great reason to try abstinence for a while. But this does leave me to wonder about how my writing will be effected. Word craft and alcohol frequently go hand in hand, probably because story telling and being social are somewhat correlated. I do suspect that drinking and writing does make the author more prone to making literary mistakes both small (typos, grammar) and large (cliche approaches, less impressive improvisation) but it can help us get over the “writing hump” of actually putting words on the page.

At least my latest writing projects are primarily editing and proofing based, of which I’m fairly certain that not being inebriated is ideal. I’ll have to try and remember to jot down my feelings on it once we hit June.

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