Over the years I’ve received a lot of tips when it comes to writing. Advice, guidelines and multiple do’s and don’ts. As a burgeoning young writer I would read and write voraciously and desperately wanted to write a novel of my own. As I got older I kept journals and wrote short stories. When blogging became a thing, I thought it would be the perfect foray into my writing The Great American Novel. Now, I just needed subject matter.
I did a lot of research and one simple quote from Stephen King kept coming back to me time and time again. “Write what you know”, was his advice to wannabe writers. Sounds easy, huh? So I asked myself…what do I know?
Not so easy.
Well, let’s see. I could write a dissertation on the cultural impact of HBO’s “Sex in the City” on modern women and dissect each episode in its entirety. There’s that. Ummm…I could write about running a half marathon. Well, I didn’t really “run” it, I guess. It was more of a bouncy walk really. I could totally write about the perfect ratio of the chocolate syrup/magic shell combo onto a big bowl of Extreme Moosetracks. I know a little about a lot I’ve always said. That does not a book filleth.
Two years ago I almost lost my life to alcoholism. I had life saving surgery on my liver and have been slowly getting my life back in order and transitioning to sober living. I am grateful for the second chance, which led me to my somewhat obvious epiphany.
Drinking, I know. Inside out and backwards and forwards. Like a dirty threadbare blanket that’s stained and smelly but yet you grab for it every night to envelop yourself in its false security.
I know drinking. I know shame. I know fear. I know the isolation that comes with it all.
I know what it’s like not to remember. I know what it’s like to go from the life of the party to the laugh of the party. I know what it’s like when the folks at work don’t believe you anymore. I know the pity in their eyes. I also know that it wasn’t always awful. There were countless good times and happy memories. I know that one day, maybe even tomorrow, I’ll want to feel that way again. This I know.
I also know it will kill me.
So, I’ll write.