The Bones are Strong

Last night I finished a personal essay. One thousand one hundred and ninety eight words, as it stands.  I had to drink a lot of whiskey.


I almost didn’t write it, but I was kindly bullied by a Twitter friend. She gave me a deadline. She encouraged me. She put me on the spot.

Like Lizzy Bennet, I never avoid challenges. I laugh in the face of danger. Until I cry. 

I did research. It felt like college. I bookmarked. Copied and pasted quotes. Compared reviews. Avoided the writing until it was unavoidable.

The beginning came easily, like falling in love.

The middle, I got through.

But I faltered trying to write the ending.

Days passed. Opening the document I’d read it again. Stalled.

Usually, that would’ve been the end: another dead essay, half-completed and relegated to a folder deep within my computer.

But I’m in a workshop with a group of damn fine writers and I could not disappoint them. I’m surrounded by people who keep me writing.

So last night, I committed. I bought a bottle of Jameson, a lemon. My first reader advised me to eat dinner first. A good call.

It wasn’t long before I was typing like a woman possessed. The dog left the room.

At one point, I noticed my right hand was wet; the ice from my drink had melted completely. Time for another.

Not sure why I had to take a break to sing a few Beyonce songs. But I did. Another drink.

And then I knew why the ending had been so hard to write before. I had to tell the truth — the whole truth or the essay wasn’t worth a damn thing. And I wasn’t able to do that alone, without liquid assistance.

Hence, the Jameson.

I know what it says about me and my writing process that I write faster and with more focus under the influence. But I haven’t learned how to find that place without it.

And the essay? For a first draft, the bones are strong.

One thought on “The Bones are Strong

  1. Awesome! Congratulations! Now comes the fun part… editing and revising! Is prose easier or harder to revise, given the lack of commas/line-breaks to consider? Or am I comparing apples and oranges?
    I love reading your writing about writing. I feel the conviction and the determination. Bad ass warrior.

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