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Alcohol and writing

Posted: Sun June 14th, 2009, 4:46 pm
by Ken
I'm fed up with the constant 'nannying' of the present government and the endless 'research' published by university professors (who will lose their grants if they don't publish some 'new' research every month or so!) - "a glass of red wine a day is good for you!" ----- "a glass of red wine a day exposes you to the risk of bowel cancer/dementia/liver disease/the dreaded lurgy!" etc.

Some cleric today had the nerve to compare 'middle-aged' drinkers at home, with binge-drinking feral youths out on the street of our cities on Friday nights!!

What do you think? I find that a glass or two of a good Australian on Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc in the evening, loosens my flagging spirits and spurs me on to write the novel to end all novels. Obviously, if I proceed to finish off the bottle (are bottles getting smaller these days, or is it me?), my writing tends to fall away somewhat!

It's almost 6.0pm here in Cornwall - time to go and get a nice cool glass of that Sauvignon Blanc!

Cheers!

Posted: Sun June 14th, 2009, 7:55 pm
by SarahWoodbury
I suppose, like most things, moderation here is the key. Not that I'm one to talk as I don't drink at all, but in Stephen King's autobiography 'On Writing' he talks about being so drunk/drugged that he has no memory of writing entire novels that went on to be best sellers. That wouldn't, I imagine, be ideal :)

Posted: Sun June 14th, 2009, 7:59 pm
by Ken
[quote=""SarahWoodbury""]I suppose, like most things, moderation here is the key. Not that I'm one to talk as I don't drink at all, but in Stephen King's autobiography 'On Writing' he talks about being so drunk/drugged that he has no memory of writing entire novels that went on to be best sellers. That wouldn't, I imagine, be ideal :) [/quote]

I agree that 'moderate' drinking is probably the key, although different people have different views on what constitutes 'moderate'. Since my last post, I have drunk two glasses of white wine and am in full flow! Tomorrow may see a bit of editing though!!

Time for a bit of supper and maybe a 'small' glass of red before bedtime!

Posted: Sun June 14th, 2009, 8:14 pm
by Libby
[quote=""SarahWoodbury""]I suppose, like most things, moderation here is the key. Not that I'm one to talk as I don't drink at all, but in Stephen King's autobiography 'On Writing' he talks about being so drunk/drugged that he has no memory of writing entire novels that went on to be best sellers. That wouldn't, I imagine, be ideal :) [/quote]

It may not be ideal but it doesn't seem to have done his sales much harm.

Posted: Sun June 14th, 2009, 8:22 pm
by Vanessa
Ah, well, personally, I do prefer red to white wine. I find white quite acidic. I don't take too much notice of all these researches - they change their minds every day and tomorrow it will be something else which isn't good for us. A little of what you fancy does you good, that's my motto!

I even heard someone on the radio saying we should all sit out in the sun for 10 minutes without protection as a certain amount of sunlight is good for us. So I shall now get back in my box........

Cheers! Image

Posted: Sun June 14th, 2009, 10:09 pm
by EC2
I drink the occasional glass of wine if in the mood and I sometimeslike a small glass of sweet sherry while cooking. (terribly naff I know, but there you go). When I say occasioanal, I reckon in terms of glass worths, I probably get through around 3 bottles of white wine a year, one bottle of red, and a bottle of sherry about once every six weeks. When writing I drink tea - medium strength with milk and one sugar - gallons of the stuff. I have never been drunk in my life.
Younger son's girlfriend is a trainee nurse. She was working on a ward the other week, full of yellow young men dying of drink-induced liver disease. Scary!

Posted: Sun June 14th, 2009, 11:34 pm
by Chatterbox
drinking because you enjoy the taste of a good glass of wine is one thing. But after a while, the taste buds shut down.

I don't care what people do in their homes. I do care that I've been on the subway and had a well-dressed drunk throw up on my feet. And no, I don't think that's a sense of humor failure in me, not to laugh along appreciatively. I don't like going to parties where people drink so much that they shove through the crowds, interrupt conversations, shriek at each other and push bystanders into swimming pools. And then expect the world to proceed in a hush the next day because they feel unwell.

I don't think it has anything to do with what the government does or says. It's how much people drink and how they behave as a result of it. There is no way that it's safe for anyone with more than a drink in them to get behind the wheel of a car, for instance. If I had a dollar for every time I've seen someone argue they were perfectly safe to drive home, I would be very wealthy indeed.

IMO, the biggest problem is that many of the people who do drink too much don't realize it. They don't recognize that their voice is three times louder than that of everyone else around them; that they are knocking things off the dining table or banging into items of furniture. They don't realize that after the first drink, two or three become five or six quite quickly. They don't realize that they become dangerous to themselves (liver disease) and others (drunk driving, abusive behavior) far more easily than if they were sober.

Ken, I don't know you and I don't know how you react to alcohol. For some people, one glass is too many. I've had friends who were/are alcoholics. To this day, my father (in his 70s), will fall asleep on the sofa with a glass of wine balanced on his stomach. He's not an alcoholic, but he couldn't cope without alcohol. And to me, being that dependent on anything -- except for something like insulin for diabetes where it's about survival -- would just be unacceptable.

I'd be scared if I'd been writing anything (bestsellers or not) and had no memory of it! And I imagine that King must have been causing misery to his family at this point. I've heard people in NY media circles insist that cocaine makes them more productive, too....

Posted: Mon June 15th, 2009, 7:30 am
by Vanessa
I can't see the point in drinking so much, it makes you ill - I hate being sick! I know my limits. Some people don't know their limits and just carry downing one drink after the other. I suppose alcoholics just get used to it and end up having to drink more and more to get the same effect. Where I lived as a child, the lady opposite us was an alcoholic and she used to hide her bottles in the bushes which surrounded her house!! It was very sad really. I think staying at home to look after three children got her down - she was supposedly highly intelligent. I'm going back about 30+ years when things were a lot different.

Edited to say it's more like 40+ years. My brain must be addled by the glass of red wine I drank last night!!!!!! :rolleyes:

Posted: Mon June 15th, 2009, 9:19 am
by Ken
Oh dear! I didn't want to sound as if I have a drink problem!!

My somewhat 'tongue-in-cheek' post was triggered by another example of state/clergy interference in our daily lives and also a chapter in "Wannabe a Writer?" by Jane Wenhome-Jones, on 'The benefits of alcohol'. She advocates it - but again, in moderation.

I also know my limits. I hate the idea of being drunk as I detest the idea of losing control - my friends will tell you that I am a bit of a control freak! Any substance can become addictive, anti-depressants, alcohol, chocolate - even EC's cups of tea! One needs to recognize any such dependency and act accordingly.

When you read SKP's tales of medieval life, the protagonists seem to spend their entire day sipping from cups of wine or ale, from breakfast on! They must have been a bit tipsy half the time, which may be why they were always fighting with each other!!

To end on a 'high' (only joking!), I spend a lot of time in the south of France and the culture there is wine with every meal - BUT, in moderation. They swear by it and, the wine, along with their passion for all kinds of seafood probably explains their longevity.

So. I'll continue to enjoy my wine in moderation, but whether it helps or hinders my writing is another story and only time will tell!

Posted: Mon June 15th, 2009, 2:11 pm
by Alaric
Ah ... due to a birth defect, my stomach rejects certain foods and drinks. I have such a low tolerance for alcohol that much more than one induces sickness, so I just don't bother. I figure my liver will probably be thankful when I'm in my 80s.