Writing! It’s Better than Happy Hour.

I’m currently researching and getting ready to write this play about fear, disappointment and karaoke and the other night it struck me how enjoyable the whole process is. I’ve been a giddy little kid watching karaoke videos, taking notes about characters, singing to myself as I write. In fact, for a brief minute I found myself thinking that I enjoyed my new creative life way more than I ever liked drinking.

This, of course, is insane. Like something more than I liked drinking? I loved drinking. Or did I? Okay maybe I loved it for a while but then it didn’t love me back. Regardless, I truly believe that my life today is more exciting and enjoyable than it was when I was a blacking out five nights a week. Go figure. More remarkable still, is the fact that writing and being creative is far more thrilling and satisfying than anything drinking could ever provide. I was talking to a fellow creative person in sobriety the other day and we we’re lamenting about how we weren’t those types of drunks who were more productive when they were loaded. From what I’ve learned over the years, me and my friend are in the minority. I’ve heard dozens of artists, actors and writers say they were afraid to get sober because they thought their work would suffer. I admit I’m kind of jealous when I hear tales of creative folks who create masterpieces while intoxicated. I could never write drunk. It seemed too dangerous. Like I couldn’t control what was going to happen and besides if I was writing I couldn’t exactly keep drinking now could I? So now writing, a gift I’ve cherished my whole life and one that has set me free since childhood, yields the same power as a really good cocktail. I’m free. I’m elated. I take chances. I face scary things. I speak my mind. All while writing. And all while sober.

It’s crazy that something so good for me can make me feel so good. Part of the high it provides, I believe, comes from finally doing what I’ve always dreamed. I’ve always written and always told stories. So to live my real authentic life doing what I love is totally exhilarating.  The best part is I don’t wake up after an evening of writing wanting to bash my head in or wondering what I said to whom. With this current cocktail I’m sipping from, I just get the joy of doing what I love and living a life I’m proud of. And to that I say, ” Make mine a double!”

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25 thoughts on “Writing! It’s Better than Happy Hour.

    • Hi! We’d love to come to NYC! So far we’ve just had our extended run here in Denver but we’re looking to take it other places. Once we’ve cemented other locations and dates, I’ll post ’em for sure. PS- I love your blog and applaud your courage. Keep it up! – Sean

    • I know you can, Fox. Regaining the creative powers as I’ve gotten sober has been the most amazing gift and totally unexpected. I was really just hoping if I got sober my life would stop being a disaster and wow have I gotten so much more.

    • We’d LOVE to come to OZ! I’m actually looking into all kinds of new works festivals all over the globe (the hubby and I are travel freaks) and we’d love to get our Australia on. So never say never! Plus I’d love to hang with ya in person.

      • That had better be a promise SPM 😉
        For sure, your play would be an instant hit & as for just ‘visiting’ OZ, your hubby & you will be wanting to make it a second home 🙂

  1. Truthfully, I did worry about how my creativity would suffer. I could write while drinking. It was pretty much the only thing I could do while drinking, with the exception of smoking and talking smack.

    I did produce some great things and tap into some dark corners of my mind that would be otherwise inaccessible. But at what cost? A great deal of time and a lot of trouble. I had to leave other crafts behind, like graphic art, singing (because I know I can’t match pitch when I’m drunk. Not enough physical control), and all of my instruments. Music is a very joyful thing that requires a lot of brain power, since it is a global process. Not possible intoxicated. For me, anyway.

    What drinking enabled me to do in writing was akin to this. As adults, we know better than to tear into a package, because we may harm the contents. And then we carefully handle the contents, so we don’t harm it. Well, every day was Christmas morning, and i was the kid tearing through fragile, antique gifts.

    I had to learn how to truly embrace those emotions when they surfaced, instead feeling them intensely for the time I was drunk, tapping into that, and then shelving it. I’ve written sobbing, angry tirades by the dozens, most of which I don’t recall.

    The added bonus of sober writing? Actually remembering what I wrote! It’s nice to be able to take ownership of something well crafted and knowing it by heart.

    • Tallulah, I totally agree about the joy of actually being able to remember what you wrote–what a concept! It’s so amazing to be awake and present for an entire creative process.

  2. Sean,

    Another play!
    Yippee!

    I can relate. I thought that using made me more creative. My friend, another swell Sean, set me straight. (no pun intended)

    ‘how much MORE amazing would you be without drugs and alcohol?’

    Hmmm.

    Never thought of it that way. I was surrounded by artists, writers, thinkers. We all used. We All thought it FED us.

    No. It did not.

    I too was shocked to find the pure high of my creativity trumping drugs and alcohol.

    Yay! No dying early! Woo hoo!

    Weird huh! Weird and wonderful.

    Take care. Jen

    Another okay! Oh boy oh boy!!!

      • Jen,
        I think I’ve fixed my settings and you can now subscribe via email just by clicking my follow button. I’m not positive though. I’m sort of technically idiotic. Let me know if it works.
        xoxo, s.

    • Jen!
      I’ve been missing our back and forth so I’m thrilled you commented. And yeah another play. I must be crazy. But the idea is a funny one and I have a lot of things to say so it just has to come out. You’re right the high of just being creative is enough. It’s more than enough in fact. Anyway, love and sparkly creative juju, Sean

      • Sean,

        I think I am not email following you! Do you have that option? I thought you weren’t posting so came to check via wordpress.

        I miss bantering with your marvelous self.

        Need a roadie for the world tour, hmmm?

        Jen

  3. Great post, and wonderful to hear your creative life beats drinking. It seems, now that we’re sober, that it should be an obvious comparison. And yet, the idea that drinking *must* somehow have been appealing still lingers.

    I’m enjoying writing software, and I’ve also done that since I was a kid. I throw myself into it now. And it’s hard, and there are tough bits, and yet I enjoy every minute. Way, way more than drinking (which is what I used to do to avoid the stress and the tough bits).

    Keep blogging. I love reading 🙂

    • That’s so cool that a passion of your’s has found it’s way back to you now that you’re sober. And that’s a wonderful point about drinking to handle the stress. Which in my case just made the stress more inflamed and harder to deal with. Anyway, I’m glad to hear your journey is going well too. And thanks for reading 🙂

  4. “for a brief minute I found myself thinking that I enjoyed my new creative life way more than I ever liked drinking.”

    Wow, how marvellous that is! And how wonderful and inspiring that is to read this post, I am so happy for you. That you’ve found that what makes you happy and gives your life great meaning.

    All the best!

  5. I’m often quite productive around 3, 4, 5pm — the Happy Hour element hadn’t really clicked for me, but I love this idea of writing-as-convivial-cocktail. Great post (and cool photo) — have another!

  6. Oh goody! A new play. I can’t wait. I couldn’t agree with you more about loving writing better sober. Wow, I never had the aren’t-I-more-brilliant-drunk experiences. I just finally gave up even trying to write for the last two years of my drinking. Actually, I worked on a novel so that I wouldn’t have to take any freelance jobs and my husband wouldn’t know the real reason for the “novel” was that was too mentally impaired to think well or work. Anyway, it’s been five years of recovery before I’m finally read to publish again. I needed every single moment of that. Of course, I started writing as soon as I got sober, since I can’t not write (Yep, I’m one of those, too). Anyway, love reading you, Sean. As always, Heather

    • Heather, as usual you totally “get it”. Yeah it’s just not an option not to write now that I’m sober. And I too had the neverending drunk novel. I recently read some of it. Lord. What a mess. There’s some sad/funny gems hidden in there though that may resurface at a later date. Ya’ never know.

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