It has been a steadfast three months and twenty days since January 1st. That’s a lot of fortnights, people. On that day I made a resolution that I felt fully prepared to abandon. Certain abandonment imminent, I chose not to share it. I mean, quitters never prosper.
I tried to write whilst in the middle of the process, and this was about all I got (embarrassingly unedited):
I have been sitting here in the dark theater for four hours. I can’t write. I can barely type. I feel hungover. Only I didn’t drink. What the fuck you ask? Yeah, me too. The fuck is that I decided, starting 1/1, that I would be breaking my addiction to caffeine. Lunacy. Lunacy, I say. Where for art thou, focus, creative sentence structure, and proper spellling? Note, “spelling” contains only two Ls. Thanks very much, spellcheck. Feelin’ warm and fuzzy with all that having of my back. This is truly awful. I’m going to attempt a feeble construction of words for this post, but it will no doubt end in my sigh of futility and dejection. The time has come to click Save Draft.
There you have it. That was my brain in withdrawal. And yet, somehow, some way, I managed to stick with it.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I, Dayna, have quit caffeine. Yet now, months later, I wonder… Will my writing suffer? Has my writing suffered? Could I ever go back to a stimulant I know I was addicted to in order to tap out flashes of brilliance upon this, my MacBook keyboard?
I would be a liar if I said I can’t write without caffeine. The experience is just different. The strokes are slow, calculated. The buzz from coffee put creativity in hyperdrive. Without it, creativity comes, oh surely it comes, in many forms of late, I find I can barely keep up with it in all of its incarnations, but it’s a slow steady stream rather than a hose, one your fingers can’t possibly keep up with. Something I have to make a date and have lunch with.
How to justify a stimulant simply for writing, for output? Then I think “Hey! Tea! That’s healthy…”
Stephen King once said that he at one time felt he couldn’t write without some sort of mind-bending substance, that he drank tea and beer by the gallon (and sometimes sniffed cocaine) while writing. He later amended to say that was just a cop out, that he wrote sober these days, and that all addicts look the same when they’re puking in the gutter. I realize that this is a grand exaggeration –
Or is it?
Do you (could you) write without caffeine?
And is chai thine enemy?
What about the antioxidants?! Huh? What of those?!