The idea of writing drunk and then editing ruthlessly while sober has always struck me as incredibly peculiar. Being drunk lends itself to a lot of things, one being brutal honesty. If you later edit the things you wrote while drunk, will the honesty be lost? What happens to the crazy flow of thought that comes with slowing down the brain? I’m not sure who’s noticed, but being drunk is excellent for slowing down that maelstrom of sub-par ideas which hits ever writer while they’re in full control of their faculties.
Having your brain a little off-kilter might help slow down the words bursting out of you. And you can make all sorts of unexpected connections which would have otherwise been drowned out. Writing is hard, it’s important to try out whatever makes you feel like you have more control and gets you to that sweet spot where what you’re writing doesn’t feel like nonsense.
That’s the general takeaway I have from my own writing experiences. Writing drunk is a bit like writing angry, it makes you write more passionately than you would when you’re over-thinking every sentence. So write when you’re over-whelmed in some way. Who knows where it might lead. (Don’t develop an addiction for the sake of your writing, that’s a terrible idea. As bad as lazy writing in a movie-script is. Deadpool, baby-I’m referencing you.)
But what do I know? I might or might not be currently inebriated.
Today I had one of those wake-up calls which happens when you forget how difficult an artist’s life can be and then there come four guys you have to interview for an article and they keep on mentioning this little detail. Somehow it plays into the conversation about their art. They talk about how this aspect of their art represents the hardships they face while going about this creative process and I just keep thinking to myself (I am such an idiot)!
Now you may very well wonder why I was berating myself, perhaps because I was not paying enough attention to what they were talking about? No. Because I felt bad for not really understanding what they meant? Warmer. I know, I know, “Because you felt guilty for not facing the same problems”!
Great, give that imaginary kid I created a cookie. I felt guilty for not having faced these problems to the extent they do, because I don’t worry about my style as an artist (like I even need to- it’s not like I am being creative in any way), because I don’t worry about supporting anyone financially (crap, it is the other way around!) and a number of other things.
This is irrational, even I know that, and yet I still felt this when I was confronted with it. Just so you know, I am not totally oblivious to these facets of life, it is only that there is a difference between sympathy and empathy, and I am pretty good at the former, but in this case especially, my empathy is not worth diddly-squat.
This brings me to another question I don’t really want to look at too closely right now, can my empathy really help anyone in any situation, or is it a limited super-power?