I Want a Cigarette


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.

I 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.



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