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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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19 January 2014

The Metro Newspaper this week had  a review of the book The Trip to Echo Spring - Why Writers Drink by Olivia Laing. 

I have not yet read the book, so cannot review it here from my reading. But the story intrigued  me straight away. Laing, who is UK based, travelled to the U.S. in search of famous writers who were all known to be addicted to alcohol ( Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Cheever, John Berryman, Carver). She outlines the tragedy of alcohol addiction and looks at the link between writing and alcohol. 

I can't really judge the contents of the book, of course, and maybe I shouldn't. But just looking at the headlines and the reviews of this book in the popular press, the suggestion seems to be that, well, writers drink. Or at least they are at a risk of developing an alcohol addiction. Or that they can only be creative when alcohol is involved. I find that a bit, well, insulting. 

On the other hand, one of my favourite authors is Stephen King, and it is well known that he struggled with alcohol. And it is often said that he wrote some of his best books whilst under the influence. And, of course, alcohol addiction and writers feature in his books (The Shining being the obvious example, but I know there are more).

Personally, I get just completely tired and/or can't concentrate when I drink. One glass of wine is enough for me to put me in this state. I'm not a published writer, but I do spend time writing on my blogs etc, and I know that on the odd evening where I do drink, I might as well forget about doing any writing at all. I'm most creative first thing in the morning, clear and fresh head. 

I would love to hear others opinions on this topic. What do you think, do alcohol and writing go together? Maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing?

The book is definitely on my TBR pile and I'm curious to see what Laing's conclusion is.