Writing is Like Wine, or Writing Needs Wine Some Days

My husband and I have been sampling wines here and there as we have the budget and taste for it for the last six to eight months. I'm learning a lot about actually tasting the different wines and finding out why a wine is good or not good. Hands down, so far my favorite is a red from a local vineyard from my hometown. But here's the point, I'm finding that writing is pretty much the same as tasting the wine. You have to pick apart your words to figure out what's good and what's bad. Sometimes the story is too good to drink and others it's so bad you want to pour it down the drain but secretly fear the story will come back and haunt you in the middle of the night so you don't.

So I've been learning about wine and writing about made up characters, some of which I like and others I don't and it's all become this flowing oneness between the wine and the writing. That sounds flowery, I know, and with hints of citrus and a velvety finish with no aftertaste, but hey. The comparison has been made. Wine sits to ferment, your story should sit to ferment. Some wine is bitter and dry, others soft and delicate. Same goes for the stories we love to read and write.

In graduate school I took a journalism class from a woman that worked at the newspaper. She said a co-worker would become so consumed by deadlines and pressure as she neared a project's end that her eye would start to twitch. This, naturally, is pretty distracting. The woman would bring whiskey to work with her and take a shot to calm her eye down and give her the peace to work. Now, without going over the top, I can attest to the effectiveness of a good glass of wine next to my laptop every couple of months when I need it to get the creative juices flowing.

A good, slowly sipped wine does something that loosens the writer's block for me on really bad days just enough that some light comes through the cracks of the bolted doors and suddenly I know I can get back to that writing place again. I'm not saying you have to drink to write, and I'm certainly not encouraging the stigma of drunken writers, I'm just saying that I have found there are some wines you really like and some stories that really work and they may or may not be found simultaneously.

Hey, some people smoke. Some people snort cocaine. Some people watch celebrity TV. I wine and write.

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