NaNoWriMo, Kingsley Amis, and the Mythos of the Alcoholic Writer

8 Nov

image courtesy of the aptly named


In my 20’s, I read quite a bit of Martin Amis. Somehow, I have managed to not read any Kingsley Amis and I think I am going to have to rectify that gap in my literary education very soon. I stumbled across this excellent article about Kingsley Amis when I was digging around trying to find the quotation about “metaphysical hangovers” that my roommate and I used to talk about so long ago. I never forgot that! From the article ” Madman About Town: The Life and Times of Kingsley Amis”:  “Kingsley has written often and poignantly about that moment when getting drunk suddenly turns into being drunk,” wrote Martin Amis, “and he is, of course, the laureate of the hangover.” Ah, the mythos of the alcoholic writer. This mythos kept me trapped in a cycle of drunkenness for decades. Personally, my writing got worse and worse as I got drunker and drunker and eventually it stopped completely. Staying wet dried me out. No thanks, I’ll take sobriety. Articles like this are a great reminder for me.

I wanted to do National Novel Writing Month again this year, but yoga is not going to fit well into a routine of frantic writing for 5-6 hours a day for 30 days straight. Maybe next year! I did it in 2009 and actually finished a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It was an amazing experience that I got to have because I was sober. If you’ve never done it, definitely try it at least once.


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