Lilit and I came across this book called Naked, Drunk and Writing. We felt it was sure to become out favorite book ever. It’s by a lady who teaches writing workshops and the MFA program at Mill’s college. But then we tried reading it, and we were positively perplexed – and we don’t think it was just our morning coffee-vodka.
There isn’t very much about drunk writing in this book. Which is confusing, because writing was originally made up as a pretend job that unemployed people could use to justify their drinking (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulker, all vagrants, pretty much.)
The book contains advice like “tone is created by the images and details you choose” and “finding your voice means sounding like yourself on the page” and “writers are not nice. They are maniacs, gripped by unreasoning desires, driven by passions, consumed by jealousy. Throw rocks at them until you are the only one left.” (I made the last sentence up. Did you see how I changed the tone using my personal voice?)
Anyhow, I don’t see how any of this helps you write when you’re drunk. So we came up with a better guide that we’re going to title the same thing. Here is that guide:
1) Make sure there’s no one else in your home. Take off all your clothes.
2) Do the no-pants dance.
3) Dance! Dance! Dance!
4) Sit down on the couch. Flip on the TV. Grab yourself some Cheerwine and vodka. This is how Hemingway rocked it.
6) Are you drunk?
8) Go to your computer and start writing.
9) Dammit, you need a typewriter.
10) Let’s go buy one!
11) Do not drive to the antique typewriter store. Driving drunk can kill you.
12) Do not walk to the store. You will weave into oncoming traffic.
13) Start bicycling.
14) Alternatively, you can use a segway, if you’re an asshole.
15) Holy shit, you forgot to put clothes on.
16) Okay, maybe you should go home before people see you.
17) Too late.
18) Get home and type some stuff about your childhood dog. Bonus points if it’s dead.
19) Experiment using the “language” tool to translate it into Japanese, then back again. Marvel at the results. This is your true voice.
20) Just give up and play some online pac-man and fall asleep while watching House. This is what it means to be a writer.
21) Wake up. Brush tongue. The dog stuff? It’s actually not bad.