Writers Drink Too Much and Then They Kill Themselves or Die Young

I am going back to 1,000 word a day commitment.  It keeps me writing, and it keeps my garrulousness in check, sort of.  I am too windy, I know.  I will really shoot to keep the limit.  I really will.

I've been reading sad things today about how the book is going out of style and soon will be nothing but trash heaps and memories or somethings.  People like Jane Friedman, media specialist, media critic, writer and professor with a new bookThe Future of Publishing: Enigma Variationsyou can read a free excerpt from on the future of publishing.  You can get 39 pages of the book for free if you follow the directions and go pay $1.99 to Scribed.   She thinks the end of normal published books you just buy in stores is within shouting distance.  She blames Google, Apple and Amazon for taking over publishing and leaving writers in the dust.  She says that multimedia is the future of writer's writing, and look for more online and Web site multimedia non-books.

That is exactly what my brother is intuitively doing with his book that I am editing, "A Fairy Tale Life Is No Fable, by Michael Grady.  It is aimed at teenagers, and he knows from having his own kids, now young adults, how hard it is to get them to read a book that's good for them.  It seriously would save any teen agony and tragic mistakes and show them how to lead a joyous, responsible life and be a contributing member of society.

Listen to this.  Mike was a C.P.A. before he retired and he knows a lot about investing money.  When he wrote the first version of this book, he put in a surprise for his wonderful children whom he knew were just waiting with bated breath to read his book.  He wrote right in one of the later chapters on investments that he was giving each kid a big sum of money to invest as they wanted with the advice in the book.  He also told them where and how to get the money.

Neither kid ever got that money because neither read the damn book their father spent all that time and energy writing. I begged my son, a teen too at the time, to read it.  I wrote him a long letter about all the mistakes in my life that I might have avoided had I read this book as a teenager.  I implored him to save himself some misery and just read the book, which I view as the instruction manual God didn't think to give us when we were born.  He would not read it.  He has a second chance now and not much is different in his sleep all day party all night life.  We'll see what happens.

Jane Friedman's newsletters and blogs are the greatest thing.  She writes about writing for writers.  She also gives away rare nuggets of goodies and information like the old drunk lady on the corner used to give out Halloween candy.  She is so generous.  If you don't get anything else, get these five free ebooks  she recommends and links you up with. If you're a writer or media entrepreneur wannbe sign up for her newsletter too.

About that title of this post...  I just recently submitted this blog to Top 100 Sober Blogs Directory.  The blog has to be about that. Hey, this blog is sober and so am I:  Two years sober this month--today for all I know. I am a proud recovering alcoholic/addict and I do try to instill hope and recovery from several things. I try to  help others find their purpose in life, grow and develop as human beings, and learn more about my personal story, what kinds of things I write in Chicago Alcohol &; Recovery Examiner, and recover from everything that keeps you a slave and doesn't let you be fully human, alive and bursting with joy, and free.

So the title, "Writers Drink Too Much and Then Kill Themselves or Die Young," is about what I most aspired to when I was in college.  I wanted to be like these writers--"Top 10 Drunk American Writers."  Check out those quotes below their name.  At least they were honest:

""First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you." -- F.S. Fitzgerald.  

I wanted to go back in time and hang with all those expatriate drinkers/writers in Paris in the 20's and 30's like Fitzgerald, Hemingway and go visit Henry Miller, Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin (not a drunk), and just be wild, free, creative, brilliant and drunk. 

Like this quote from a recent New York Times review of "Midnight in Paris."

"Many a writer or artist has longed to travel back in time to the sizzling Paris of the 1920s, to sip absinthe with Hemingway at Les Deux Magots or dine on choucroute garnie with Picasso at La Rotonde. Imagine the conversation! What has beguiled audiences about the new Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris is that the protagonist, Gil, a disenchanted Hollywood screenwriter played by Owen Wilson, gets to live exactly that fantasy."

It goes on with all the delicious details of drinking, writing and carousing in Paris that I know so well since I think I believed when I was a coed that I was not just some drunken, obnoxious, know-it-all but one of the hippest pack of them all.  If I had to be a woman I would be June Miller or Anais Nin.  I preferred to think of myself as that poor, tragic souse Fitzgerald with his partially glamorous life when he wasn't bankrupt, taking Zelda, his wife, to mental hospitals, or puking on his shoes while trying to get a loan from somebody like Max Perkins.   "Those were the days.  I thought they'd never end."   

My glamorous fantasy fueled by non-stop drinking and drugging (and the occasional college class) came to an abrupt halt.   I had to sober up at 28  or die.  I had to accept my complete ordinariness that came with homelessness, poverty, a liver that stuck out and hurt, an extra 50 pounds of beer bloat, a head so fogged I couldn't remember what address and phone number I was using when filling out job applications, and nursing a broken heart because my true love had just drowned.   Oh, yeah, and I didn't write shit, just as I had written not a whole lot of anything  in college in my creative writing workshops.  I cared too much what other people thought.  I worried the  hip cat graduate students might mock me, scorn my writing and pass swords through me during the public evaluation of my writing.  

What a crock!  

And that's 1,127 words, but some were quotes I didn't write.  See you later alligator.


1 comment:

D Mage said...

Don't drink much anymore, maybe too young to die but already too old to die young....Great, visually attractive blog you have here. I'm supposed to be writing, have a 300 page memoir in need of a publisher or agent, and don't seem to be producing much these days, have to work to make the landlord's mortgage payment, keep the credit card companies at bay, subsidize fat bonuses for executives, and make sure the bombs keep falling....this, not writing could drive me to drink, illegal drugs or suicide, although the final option is highly unlikely, no matter how bad it gets, I have to find out what happens in the next episode...