“You Must Stay Drunk On Writing…”


At first glance, this quote seems a little…too intense.

But then, I thought about it a little more. And I know that at least for me–and I’m sure for many other writers–it rings true.

There’s been a lot of pain in my life. A lot of adversity and a lot of sadness.

Sometimes, the only thing that has kept me going was writing. I’ve written through the pain because it gave me hope.

No, I wasn’t escaping. I was coping.

I was coping with reality through the written word.

I was wrestling through many questions through my writing.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that God gave me writing because He knew. He knew it was the only thing that would get me through. Writing is the only consistent art form I’ve never quit even in the most painful of times. It’s the only thing that’s faithfully helped cope with reality.

In college, I journaled every day, I wrote poetry, I wrote essays and papers that helped me wrestle through complex issues. Every act of writing was something I needed at the time. It helped me cope with college.

When I graduated, I wrote my book through the agonizing months of feeling adrift, not knowing if I’d ever get a job, trying to adjust to life after college, etc. When I felt so empty and alone and scared, I wrote my story and felt God’s joy flowing through me. I coped through writing.

And last year, when I experienced the death of a close friend, I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote because it was the only thing that gave me hope. In fact, there were times I looked at liquor and thought…if only I could drown my sorrow. But I knew God wouldn’t allow that, I knew it wasn’t good. And so I coped in a positive, healthier manner. I wrote my fantasy, I wrote and expressed all the questions and thoughts I was thinking through the plotlines and the characters in my story.

And I hoped as I coped with reality.

So yes, maybe writing is kind of like my drink of choice.

But I’m pretty sure God’s okay with that. :P

How has writing helped you cope?

  • I agree 110%.

    I DID drown my sorrow in liquor for three entire years. I was an alcoholic, suicidal, lost. Yet, writing was the drink that helped me let go of the alcohol. I’m still drunk on writing. God gave this to us for coping. :)

    • Yes, I know what you mean. There are both unhealthy AND healthy coping mechanisms for the painful moments of reality. Better to drown oneself in art, expression, and words (or anything that brings you joy and comfort), than in something that is self-destructive like drugs or alcohol.

  • Writing short stories, keeping a journal, jotting whatever seemed worthwhile in my writer’s notebook…. All therapeutic. Hiding inside my own mind or getting out of my own head. At different times both have been needful. Words are like Legos. You can build so many things out of the same ones!

    • Yes, writing is very therapeutic! Thanks for the comment.

  • Great post. I don’t think I’m conscious of the demons I’m exercising when I write, but they are certainly there on the page. I’m a nice guy to meet, but my writing is always a few shades darker.

    • Yes, I think everyone is writing to process things, whether they realize it or not. I actually love reading a writer’s fiction, it helps me understand them as a person so much better. And I’m a pretty nice person to meet, too. But yes, I always write a little bit darker.

  • Hi Teryn,
    I write because the Holy Spirit pushes me to do it. I take mucho medication for Bipolar which makes organizing my thoughts difficult. Without the meds I write like the wind. On them it feels like trudging through sludge. Oh Well. I can not not be on meds because if I get off them [I’ve tried this 1000 times] I become psychotic and would be a lifer at the state mental asylum. Still, I do get ‘inspired’ by the Holy Spirit sometimes, and then I write what has inspired me. I’ve read that it’s important to write posts as often as possible, but if I’m not inspired, my head is dead as a doornail. Many people don’t get my Christian view, but I am what I am, what God apparently wants me to be.
    luv u,

    • Robin, God is using you and your writing despite what you see as your weaknesses and brokenness. You are such an example of someone who is strong and doesn’t give up despite all the odds. I’m glad you’re writing. Keep doing it.

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