Why I Don’t Write Drunk

R. Brady FrostWriting Process2 Comments

R. Brady Frost, Self Portrait 2.

And Other Silly Tidbits…

“Write drunk, edit sober.” — Earnest Hemingway

This phrase has been punctuated by endless memes on social media. It’s a fun thought. You know, thinking about what authors must be like. Picturing them sitting at their writing desks, holed up in their study.

A bottle of scotch sits within arm’s reach.

Or is it vodka, or wine?

You hear the clacking of the keys. A mechanical keyboard. No one really types on typewriters anymore, do they?

Maybe James Patterson. I hear he doesn’t do computers. He’s been widely successful, so that has to mean something.

Or maybe it isn’t a typewriter at all. Is it the sound of graphite etching out words on paper? Is that what real writers do? Pencil and paper. Or maybe a fancy pen. I think we might be on to something here.

I suppose it doesn’t matter much. As long as the writing gets done in the end.

Most people wouldn’t really consider me to be a writer yet. They can go out and download a copy of The Itch for free, or read one of my other stories here on the blog, but that doesn’t really count, does it?

I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words that haven’t been published yet. Certainly that doesn’t count for much.

And after I publish Second Chance?

Probably not then, either. Some will say that self-publishing doesn’t count.

PermaFrost Press is just a small publishing company I started from scratch. I’m a man with a dream. I’m willing to put in the work and I want to write stories that other people want to read. I want to bring those stories to the world.

But it’s not like I made it past “The Gatekeepers” or anything.

I used to spend a lot of my time listening to podcasts and joining webinars to hear about how other people went about their writing.

I don’t do that anymore, though I still pick up the odd non-fiction book on writing or collaborations that I think might prove useful.

I stopped listening to other writers because too many outside voices were drowning out my own. Everyone has their own way of doing things, ways that work for them and help them get the words on the page.

Some of them just want to sling business-to-business products.

I don’t write drunk…

Because it slows down my mind. I get sleepy and distracted. It makes me want to snuggle up under some blankets and dream the night away. No thank you, Mr. Hemingway. That won’t get words on my page.

I write the way I do because it’s what I’ve found works best to accomplish the things I’ve set out to do.

It doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning, or that I’m unwilling to try something new. It just means that I’ve decided to shut out all the noise and the opinions of other people and listen to what my mind is telling me.

For example, I always considered myself a pantser — someone who writes without an outline. But as I’ve taken a closer look at my business and reflected on my goals, I realized that there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to my writing process.

I started looking at the way I was doing things, where my time was going. As work at my job got more intense, it became harder to hold onto the thoughts and ideas I had for my stories.

Over time, a loose outline started to take shape. It was a natural progression of tearing down old walls and building a new foundation. Soon I found myself writing an outline for the novel my son and I are working on.

He’s doing the heavy lifting, but struggled when it came to uncovering the plot through discovery. The heavy outline I’ve started writing for him has helped immensely. And this is further proof that I can streamline some of my own processes by putting some time upfront to develop a strong outline.

Just don’t go back in time and tell my younger self that. I think you might have a fight on your hands.

The real point of this post isn’t really why I don’t write drunk.

It’s why I write the way I write. And, if you write, why you should work to uncover your own writing process rather than spending all your time listening to all the endless, conflicting wisdom and opinions of all the writers who just so happened to get there first.

2 Comments on “Why I Don’t Write Drunk”

  1. I think that it is really cool and that you should keep posting more 🙂 See you at home:D

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