• Frank Cervi

Booze is the Muse


Every writer, artist, or creator has a muse. For some, that source of inspiration can come from another person; for some men, it’s a specific woman. Others may find stimulus at the bottom of a glass or bottle. A muse is a reason for escape or, perhaps, the reason for escape is to entangle one’s self within the muse of choice. Whatever may cause the afflatus is important since it is the fire that is held within, a torch that carries Olympic eternality; something that can only be deliberately doused when the end is nigh and the grand game of life is at an end.

To write well you must first escape your own limitations and beliefs; you have to escape yourself in order to bring life into new worlds, characters, and ideas. Being you isn't going to cut it, unless you are writing a book about yourself. The reason why most people never write a book or, finish one and publish it for that matter, is because they fear escaping their own prison of comfort. It is also a craft that takes a lot of time and dedication. You have to be of a certain breed to do this. It's honestly the hardest thing you can do I believe, hence, why very few do what we writers do. It's difficult. It's scary and often times it's tormenting because the act of writing is to bare ones soul for all to see. It's nakedness of the mind.

This isn’t to say such a feat cannot be achieved if one were to be sober during craft time; it’s just less of a struggle when your beer fridge is well stocked and your glass topped off. A lot of people assume that writers drink or abuse solvents because they are tortured souls and have fucked up lives. It’s true; most of us do (especially fiction writers). However, I’d like you to consider that maybe… just maybe… writers employ booze and solvents as work tools simply because, we can. Think about it for a second. Can a normal person, with an average 9-5 cubicle coffin, do drugs and drink a six-pack in an afternoon at work? Didn’t think so (well some do, but they get fired or receive jail time).

Does it ever occur to people that a lot of writers drink simply because they have the freedom to do so? Really, when it comes down to it, it's a symbol and staple of the whole act itself. Being a writer is the ultimate symbol and archetype of independence and freedom. So why not drink on the job if you can? I do believe, as well, that being an author and writer in today’s world—one in which forces true freedom of speech towards the back of the bleachers— has never been more important than it is now. It’s very fitting to be drinking a beverage that is a craft in its own very nature, while you just happen to be working on yours.

So yes, we writers enjoy our freedoms. We thoroughly enjoy the simple pleasures of waking up whenever we’d like and cracking a brew whilst hammering in the keypads—because we can. For fiction writers, this is especially important if you take your writing seriously like any actor would. The best way explain what it’s like to write fiction is in comparing it to how an actor employs the use of method acting. Writing about characters that are especially dark, sinister, depressing and fucked up quite honestly is difficult and a lot of times as a writer you have to travel to some dark places in order to achieve a certain viewpoint. The booze, in this case, is not what helps you write, it’s what helps you recover and cope with what you’ve just witnessed yourself write. It's almost like looking at a grim crime scene, but a beautiful one. When you lose yourself in a character or, a world for that matter, it can take a small toll on you mentally... if you’re doing it right. If you’re writing through the eyes of an axe-murderer and you, as a writer, are thoroughly disgusted by the acts of brutality to which you made that character do…then you’re doing it right. If you as a writer can feel that, then your audiences will surely feel it as well.

Booze is honestly the best elixir for raw, unfiltered, truth. You can be truthful and honest when you’re sober, but it doesn’t pack the same punch. When you’re sober you’re a lightweight when it comes to truth; a feather in a dust storm.

You have a glass with your friends at the bar, so why not have a friend beside you while you write?


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© 2020 Frank Cervi