Stop Drinking, Become a Cliche

I’ve ingested a metric fucktonne of information about quitting drinking. I’ve read blogs and books, I’ve watched documentaries and I’ve spoken to people. Throughout my research there appears to be two things that 75% of successful quitters do:

  1. They start running
  2. They start writing

I’ve talked about my new relationship with running before, so I won’t bore you again (Jesus Christ Jonathan please just shut up about the fucking running). Nearly 1.5 years into sobriety I am prepared to make the final transition to full sober-cliche. My body is ready. I’m going to write a book.

One of the unintentional by-products of writing this blog is that I’ve found a new hobby. I’ve enjoyed writing this bollocks – probably much more than you poor bastards have enjoyed reading it – and so, whilst I have no intention of stopping the blogging (soz), I’m going to take my writing to the next level.

Back in the booze days we were kings of good intention. Me and my mates would drink and we’d make plans. We were young (at first), spunky (?), creative, and driven. We had the greatest ideas when we were drunk, but the motivation evaporated slowly over days, weeks, and months of brave talk. We weren’t all mouth and no trousers though – the best ideas managed to go a step further. We wrote film scripts and business plans, we planned festivals and movie screenings, we thrashed out ideas for mobile catering solutions (curry in a cup, the Yorkshire doughnut company, tastyfuckingsoupservedinashoe.com…), I even wrote a whole musical called ‘Jimi Hendrix’s Time Travelling Guitar’ – but these ideas, ultimately, amounted to nothing more than drunken guff.

jimi_hendrix

No time-travelling guitars unfortunately

There are, however, some ideas that did go well. This blog for a start! And I’m still gigging and releasing records with my ridiculous band Petrol Bastard (an idea formed purely around booze). Also I did okay a few years back with my idea of importing and selling electronic gadgets from China – until I realised the CE markings were dodgy and decided to wind it up before one of my gadgets caused a house fire or electrocuted a dog….

The point I’m trying to make, though, is that ideas formed on booze have probably a 1% success rate – and that’s being generous. The intention is never really there. Things are different in my sober world though – an idea doesn’t mean anything important to me unless I’m willing to go the distance. If I’ve started to talk about an idea with people then it means I’m probably going to give it a go. It’s probably got a 25% chance of seeing the light of day, rather than the 1% chance of pub-borne ideas.

Someone can have 100 different amazing ideas for a painting – but they’re worthless unless you’re going to put the brush on the canvas.

So… I’m going to write a book. I’m not just saying it – I’m doing it. I’ve been planning and researching for the last couple of years, and in the next month or so I’ll be taking a week off work to get stuck in to it. Following that I’ll need to keep the momentum going, and so the plan is to write before work for an hour every day. I’m not going to share any details just yet – I’m keeping that to myself for now – but it’s not going to be anything about quitting drinking. It’ll be a proper book with fighting and swearing.

This, for me, captures one of the most amazing revelations I had when I stopped drinking. You stop being a dreamer, and you start being a doer. Feels good man.

I better get on and actually write it then – otherwise I’ll look like a right nob.

J

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