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Pick Your Poison

...Or What I Drink when Working on a Novel

OK so admittedly it’s a little random of a blog topic, but let’s be honest here: the beverage of choice is a very important issue in a writer’s life. I know people who can’t sit down to write if they don’t have their trusty cup of something sitting right next to them. Caffeine, alcohol, neither: it doesn’t matter what it is, just that it’s there when they need it. You can generally tell just how deep into the drafting or editing process a writer is by the sheer number of empty cups littering their writing space.

For me: well, as you can probably tell from the picture above, I have just a litttttttttle bit of a tea addiction. It’s a little more damning as evidence if I admit that is only the stash I keep at work. There’s a lot more at home, and it’s a lot harder to get it all into one image! Cold or hot, I’m not terribly picky on how it’s presented to me, though the season does tend to influence me a little. It’s just hard to drink boiling hot tea during Texas summers, you know what I mean?

But yeah, I have quite the pile of teas, and I have a nasty habit of buying them when I’m bored or get a cash back deal or am thirsty right that second or if a friend designs a fandom tea or or or… (One of my Herding Cats buddies actually created fandom teas for our charity anthologies - they make me so stinking happy, I can’t even with those teas. Once Upon a Tea, Dark and Stormy Night, and Clichai for a Cause. Love love love!) And if you couldn’t guess from the bags, is my dealer of choice. I’m not saying that I may single handily fund one of their employees every other month, but uh… I’ll just say that if you want a coupon code, I can get you the hook up ;)

It’s not all tea and crumpets at my place, though: I do crave the occasional coffee-ish beverage. Usually with enough creamer/sugar/whipped cream that it only just barely counts as coffee. Another of my darling writerly buds has on occasion brought over all the fixings to make machiattos to our writing nights. It’s possible there are multiple offers of marriage when she does this, and not all of them are from me. Just saying. (No really – look at these! So freaking pretty and tasty too!)

My other extremely necessary caffeinated beverage is Dr. Pepper. I’m full on addicted to it; there have been interventions attempted on more than one occasion, but sadly (happily) all of them have failed to date. If there was ever a drink that I really miss when I am banned from it, it’s Dr. Pepper. Even with the mass of tea I drink and the occasional coffee, or hell even alcohol, Dr. Pepper is the only one that I really truly crave. My man buys warning labels to put on the fridge to let guests know that taking the last one from me is a punishable offense. The addiction’s that bad. I regret nothing.

Finally, I know you’ve all heard the quote “Write drunk. Edit sober” often attributed to Ernest Hemingway (Though apparently contested as actually being a quote from him? Who knows who really said it LOL!), but for me writing drunk doesn’t always work so well. It depends on my mood, but generally I just get sleepy, and a sleepy Cat does not draft as productively as you might think. If I do partake though, it’s generally moscato, hard cider, or liquor mixed in (you guessed it!) Dr. Pepper. It’s always in moderation though, just enough to get me relaxed enough to let the creativity flow, but not enough to really get me flat out drunk. It’s a balance that way ;)

So those are my personal poisons – what do all of you like to have to quench your writerly thirst? Do you stick to plain water or caffeinate it up? Or do you need something with a more alcoholic kick? Let me know over on twitter @C_L_McCollum

(BTW if you are underage, I REALLY don’t recommend you writing drunk, K? Wait until you’re legal, guys.)


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