writing under the influence

i never used to write under the influence. usually this is not a good thing. i have trouble concentrating the longer i write because the longer i sit there, the more i drink. and the more i drink, well, the stranger the writing gets.

at least that's how it used to be. i have, as of late, been writing under the influence. it usually starts out with a glass of wine or scotch or a beer, and then by the end of the night, i am too drunk to see the computer screen. don't get me wrong, i'm not falling into alcoholism, but i have been re-reading what little i manage to write (usually it's no more than a few sentances or paragraphs), and it isn't altogether too horrible. not great, but not terrible like the third year politics paper i once wrote after a night of drinking at university. i mean, who knew that trying to draw parallels between the fall of the soviet union and the fall of the roman empire was a stupid thing? i guess i would have known had i been sober.

when did this start? well, this started about a month ago. i was getting frustrated with how cooler than the millions was developing, or lack there of. so what do all good writers do in times of stress? go to the bottle. it's easy. of course it is. but the quality of writing is nowhere near as good as it can be. for me anyway. you hear of stories of writers creating masterpieces while drunk or high or both, and i find this just amazing. how one can release creativity through inebriation is something that is beyond me.

because i find everything tends to lose focus when i lose actual focus. i find i write the best when i have pent up energy inside me, energy that cannot stay pent up when i drink to relax. usually, this energy is pent up anger or depression or frustration. it's interesting, because i have now become one of those writers who cannot write happy. something has to be off-center with me in order for me to be creative. i suppose this is part of the reason why most of my books, if not all, tend to be real downers, even when i'm trying to write a happy ending.

for example, when i wrote desert sessions: an anticorporate love story, i wrote the ending to be pretty much neutral. neither happy or depressing, but depending on how people read it, they got different views on it. and most people found it depressing. disgustingly so. then came this is hardcore, which was intended to be depressing, but some people just shrugged when they finished the book. strange. fucking perceptions. cooler than the millions is supposed to be an uplifting book. we'll see where that goes.

in terms of progress, there isn't much on cooler than the millions. except for the fact that the protagonist is now becoming more of a side character, and Sean, the obligatory love interest, is becoming more and more unstable, resembling a lot of the women that i know in my life. meaning, she doesn't know what she wants, she doesn't know who she is, and more importantly, she can't find happiness in herself and looks for others to make her happy; but when she finds someone that makes her happy, of course she's afraid of it. this is not some sort of indictment against women; this is just the reality of the women i've known in my life. the strong women in my life are just boring to write about, that's all. let's face it: dysfunction can be tedious and annoying, but it grabs your attention better than the straight and narrow.

at any rate, you're probably wondering if i am under the influence right now, as i type this. i can tell you, no, i am not, because i am actually writing this from work on my lunch break. if i were doing this at home, then yeah, i probably would be half-cut by now. just kidding. i don't start my drinking until at least four p.m.