It worked for Faulkner (or did it?)

By Katharine Swan On Thursday, April 24, 2008 At 11:45 PM

In college, one of my favorite English professors used to advise us around term paper time not to follow William Faulkner's example — that is, writing while under the influence of alcohol.

I don't drink much, and when I was in college I never did so with the intention of doing homework afterward. So it wasn't until I met Michael, who is something of a wine connoisseur, that I discovered that alcohol and writing doesn't really work.

Whenever I'm planning on working more in the evening (which is more often than I'd like to admit), I opt not to join Michael in a glass of wine. At the very least it makes me sleepy, and more often it makes me just tipsy enough to make working difficult. (Yes, I'm a lightweight.)

I'm actually writing this while a little tipsy, and there's no way I could have written anything more involved than a blog post. I mean, it took me several minutes to think of the word involved...

And yes, I had my glass and a half of wine because I didn't plan on working anymore tonight.

As it turns out, though, my English professor may have been misinformed: According to several sources online, it seems that writing while under the influence didn't work for Faulkner, either. Too bad — it would make a better story (at least from the college student's perspective) if it did.


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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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