An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.
Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953) (quotationspage.com)
Alcohol has long held a (honorable?) place in literary culture. Sometimes it takes over. The early deaths of Truman Capote, Dylan Thomas, and many other writers can attest to that. But if you are one who can drink in moderation, go for it. Pour yourself a double and get to work on that novel, short story, essay, or poem.
Alcohol is a social lubricant for me. When I drink, I talk and talk and talk. When I drink around paper, my pen does the talking. A couple glasses of Scotch (neat, please, Mr. Bartender) or a Gin Martini (Beefeater, dry) has helped me through a few blocks.
The greatest risk when drinking while writing, for me at least, is that I lose exactness. My ideas flow as freely as the booze, but my specifics falter. I make careless grammatical errors. I present ideas out of order. I ramble.
That’s why it’s important to edit sober. Take out that draft the next day, if you aren’t too hungover, and comb through it. After you correct the mechanics, you may well have a fine draft. This is simple advice really, but I know several writers who indulge in writing drunk then fail to sober up for the editing process.
Here’s to the brewers and distillers and to good writing! Cheers!