I quit a corporate day job a year ago and chose to pursue a career of a writer.
It took me few months realizing how to BE a writer (what do writers do, what genre I want to write, etc.) and it seems that after reading several journal writings of other prolific writers, I have adopted other writers’ identity of having a cat on my lap, an alcoholic drink in my hand, and a notebook.
I thought to myself, well, it sure worked for them…
For six months it served me well, I thought. I produced pages and pages and submitted articles and had writers groups and my coach giving me feedback.
The feedback was not favorable of my talent.
A week ago my coach asked me if he can be blunt and after my consent he asked me to describe what I eat/drink just before I sit down to write.
When I told him that I write late at the afternoon and into the night, with one hand holding a glass of whiskey or wine, he said: ‘You might want to drop the alcohol and read your stuff sober. I think you will find that they are less creative than you think they are.’
Ouch!!!! – It felt exactly like what you say about people who drink alcohol in parties, thinking they are having better time than they are, or a teenager on video games, thinking he is having a better life than he has.
This past week I moved the writing to the morning, sober and fresh, and all of a sudden it lost all its glory, sexiness, and uniqueness.
All of a sudden I am just this person hunched over a keyboard, typing words that are boring, meaningless, and while I don’t crave the alcohol itself, I cannot stand my own writing. Even the fluffy cat won’t do it.
Now I wonder, if we get to think whatever we want, is my work to stay sober and just change what I think about my writing, and convince myself that it is better than it is?