I have trouble breathing every day. Some days are worse than others. I smoked for 14 years. That’s a lot of cigarettes. And now I am paying for my bad habits. But, I want a cigarette. I’ve heard it said that all writers are either heavy smokers or heavy drinkers. Likely because of the isolation of the act of writing. Writing is a beautiful thing but the solitary activity can mess with one’s mind after many years of working in the industry.
I disagree with the above mentioned adage. I think it’s unfair to say that all great writers do either. I think all writers do something, whether it is drink coffee, do a happy dance in the middle of the living room after typing, The End on a manuscript (Which most professional writers will tell you is not how the story ends when it goes to print. Usually it has a nice, rounded resolution to the conflict and the words The End become a moot point. But there it is.
I used to have a cigarette while I wrote, as I brainstormed, with my coffee, with my writer friends on smoke breaks during writers’ meet-ups and after every draft was complete of whatever writing project I was working on. In truth, it didn’t make my prose greater, it didn’t enhance the quality of my writing or help me to write a best seller. (At least not yet.) But I still have the urge after writing a great fight scene or something so heart wrenching I am hoping the reader is going to be crying their eyes out and reaching for the tissue, because it is the role of great prose to evoke emotion. I still want to reach for that cigarette.
There is nothing ceremonious about this blog, except that as I write I am craving a cigarette and I have not smoked in eight years. It would not make me a great writer to start up again and so I am including that in my reasons not to start again now, besides the above mentioned reasons.
envy relate to the writers who still light up before writing, during writing and after writing. Is there anything, I used to wonder, that goes well with finishing the ‘vomit draft’ as it’s often called besides a cigarette and a cup of coffee? I don’t remember. But writing this blog has kept me from going to the store and buying a pack. So, mission accomplished. Still a non-smoker and a new post for you, the reader to review.
Whether you smoke and write or write and don’t smoke you’re still a writer— and nothing in the world can change that.