This has all happened before.

I drink when I write.

That's an exaggeration.  I don't always drink when I write.  If I drank every time I wrote I'd either have the world's only indestructible liver or I wouldn't be here to type this.  It is entirely possible, if not entirely necessary, for me to write sober.

But there are times when a drink really helps.

Part of this comes from the fact that I have the attention span of a Cocker Spaniel, and alcohol tends to let me focus on one thing at a time.  There's also the fact that alcohol breaks down inhibitions and, in my case, breaks down my defenses.  If I need to get to a place that's raw, a place that's exposed, I'm not going to do it willingly.  A few drinks grease the hinges of that door.

But, again, these aren't regular issues.  I'm not always writing something that makes me cry.  And when I have large chunks of time, I can manage to get a decent amount of writing down even if I am distracted by whatever shiny thing catches my eye.

There is a moment in my writing when I will always have a drink: when I start something new.

I've come to realize that the translation from my head to the pixelated screen is sometimes difficult.  I can roll around in an idea in my head, but as soon as I'm typing it and watching the letters form words form sentences on the monitor in front of me, the feeling of submersion begins to fade.  It's changed from a liquid to a solid and its properties are different.

But I need to find that feeling again to keep writing.  I need to be able to submerge myself again.

Alcohol is how I make that happen.

I have a writing habit -- I have a lot, actually -- where I always finish a session of writing at the beginning of a new section.  It might be a paragraph, it might only be a single sentence, but I always start a new section before I knock off for the night.

I do this because it gives me an automatic starting point when I start up again.  I leave myself a door back into that world.

This is all to say that I have had a few drinks at this point in the blog.  I actually started this blog a few hours ago, as a way of warming up to writing.  It's actually a decent trick and one I suggest to anyone writing -- warm up with something like a blog or a journal.  It gets the writing juices flowing without the added strain of having to be overwhelmingly creative.  You can just write about yourself.

I have had a few drinks (whiskey, my drink of choice, this evening being Jack Daniels) because tonight I started a new...something.  I'm leaning towards book, but I'm not entirely positive that's what it will be.  I'm probably just hoping it will be a book, because the only alternative I can think of is a novella, and we all know that novellas are the kiss of death (and, sadly, kind of my preferred format).

Anyway, the new thing is really not like anything I've ever written before, so a little liquid courage was necessary for me to begin to translate my brain pictures into an actual story.

Besides, starting a new book is terrifying.  I know what I want it to be, but I'm not entirely sure how to make that happen.  I am small in the face of my own great expectations.

But aren't we all?