Writing Sommelier



Full wine glass standing on a keyboard. The reflection of the keyboard on the bottom of the glass looks like a Cheshire Cat grin.

Wine Glass on a Keyboard by itchys CC 3.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/itchys/44269145/

On the NaNoWriMo forums and on many writing blogs, you can read about the types of music people listen to while writing. Some authors vary their music by scene. Others create soundtracks that embody the overall theme or feel of the book they’re writing.


Along the same vein, some writers surround themselves with totems of their story. Writing a story that takes place on a beach? Make sure you have some driftwood and sand to get you in the right mood and mindset.

I prefer to write in silence and rarely gather story totems, but I do enjoy drinks (of both the alcoholic and non- variety). There is a cabinet in my kitchen that is overflowing with teas, coffee and hot chocolate…and yet I buy more.

Anyway, when I was writing about a main character who worked in a coffee house, I drank a lot of black coffee. That’s not something I normally enjoy, but my character did and I wanted to be able to describe the nuances of coffee roasts better.

Other than that, I haven’t noticed my drink choices being influenced by what I’m writing. But I wonder if there is a kind of writing sommelier out there. You need an action sequence? Try Four Loko Cranberry Lemonade. Dramatic ending? Tea, Earl Grey, hot.

Do you have any story-drink combos to share?


7 thoughts on “Writing Sommelier

  1. This made me smile! I like to drink while I write too. Anything from tap water (to set the mood for one of those ascetic stories?) to hot chocolate, tea, coke or beer. A writing sommelier would be wonderful. One of my main characters is a part time bartender; maybe he could help out? 🙂

  2. Jackie

    Great post! Well, you already know that a steaming mug of chai has been known to help me power through a frustrating draft. But I’m not so sure the type of beverage matters as much as just having a fun beverage, something I wouldn’t normally drink. I think it creates some sort of positive beverage/writing association in my subconscious, like, “Hey, writing the last paragraph to this essay isn’t as bad as it seems because I get to drink this caramel latte, iced hazelnut mocha, etc. (insert frothy coffeehouse drink here).”

  3. bethfinke

    Coffee early in the morning, red wine late at night. No accident that my morning writing is much sharper and clearer than anything i try at nighttime!
    And btw, your new blog format is good, can hear you loud and clear. Only change I really notice is the way the date is read aloud…

    • I’m glad the switch didn’t mess with your screen reader.

      Ha! I’d love to read some of your wine inspired stuff…sounds like it would be interesting.

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