It’s true. I don’t. I like drinking. It relaxes me and makes me forget my day. I rarely drink to the point where I would say I am drunk, although I am certain Alcoholics Anonymous would label me as an alcoholic. But I never drink while writing. Except this little article. Totally plastered after only two martinis. Gin of course, need you ask?
Good writing is difficult and requires focus. Great writing, well… that’s just a magical thing and you cannot predict when the fairies will come and bless you. I love the writing fairies and wish they would visit more often. I often leave them cookies and milk. Not really sure if they like it, but I figure it’s the thought that counts.
Hemingway drank. But never while writing. Okay, he may have drank a little while writing, but not the hard stuff. Read “A Moveable Feast.” I like Hemingway. I like his simple way of writing and I like his spirit. He really tried to tell the truth and if you are a writer that is a hard thing to do. It takes a lot of confidence to write simple and unpretentious. You have to overcome the fear that your fans and critics will not think you simple minded and a hack. Read “The Old Man and The Sea.” It my favorite book. So damn simple and unpretentious, but truly a masterpiece. I cried at the ending. I love the “Old Man.” He is me. How great was Hemingway for writing a novel that is about me? He committed suicide sort after winning the Nobel prize for literature and the Pulitzer for that book. Wow! What a way to end a life?
I love writing. It’s beyond me. Beyond my capability. It’s something that I will never perfect. I will always need to strive to be better. I admit it, I love challenge. If I am unusually lucky my writing will survive me, like the buildings of an architect. I love writing. I purges my soul. My poor characters. They are all me. Writing allows me to live the life I never lived. It allows me to escape the mundane. Read Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men” or James Dickie’s “Deliverance.” Don’t rent the movie you lazy bastards. Read the books. Poetry.
I am working on my second novel “We Stand Alone” (blatant plug). I am almost done. It’s war epic and a love story based on a true story during the Indochina War. Scared as hell that I am a pretentious hack that has massacred the history once again. But in a weird way confident that somehow it is significant. Not a masterpiece. That is too much to hope for, but maybe significant. I can live with that.