Monday, April 30, 2012

You can take the caffeine out of a Coke, but you can't take the addict out of a writer.

Mm. Or something like that.

Way back when, I would brew a pot (i.e. TWELVE CUPS) of coffee for myself every day. I'd leave the burner on and spend the rest of the morning writing and drinking coffee and getting this wonderful, happy, caffeinated buzz that would somehow transfer to my words-per-minute time.

Well, when my husband and I started trying to get pregnant with our son, Nathan, I cut caffeine. COLD TURKEY.

And that began the worst week of my whole entire life.

I had horrendous headaches, I could barely get out of bed in the morning, I was fairly certain I was dying. It was like detox. I had no idea caffeine was such a huge part of my existence until I took it away.

My personality took a tremendous hit.

But slowly, over the last two plus years, I've learned how to exist without it. I can speak in full sentences. Sometimes, I can even write in full sentences (though I'm fairly certain that any editor who has had the sad fate of working with me would tell you that I alternate between run-ons and fragments and that is it.)

(Sorry, dear editor friends. I do try.)

My point to this whole sad post is that triggers for your writing will come and go. They will change as you change. Maybe caffeine used to help me write before, but I'm now fairly (not really) content with water. Sometimes I even go crazy and add lemon slices.

(My life is officially sad.)

I take walks to clear my head. I play matchbox cars with Nathan. I try to get as much done before nap time as possible so that when he lays down, my writing can commence.

Forced creativity. It's not necessarily fun, but it can be done. Welcome to the world of writing, friends. ;)

Now those of you who are not pregnant and don't expect to become pregnant anytime in the near future, please go drink a Coke and a cup of regular coffee for me. :)


  1. Wow! Go you! You know Cokes have very little caffeine content, Diet Coke too. Not suggesting you get back on the band wagon but totally safe for pregnancy! However if you feel convicted over it or your doctor advised you otherwise, of course please ignore me ;) I hate to make the same decision when I was pregnant. I wasn't ever a big coffee drinker, just wanted my occasional white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. My thing was Diet Coke. I added up how many mg of caffeine was in them (I think 45) and asked my doctor how much was safe. I took the number he gave me and cut it by at least a third to be EXTRA safe, and had that many diets cokes.

    And Little Miss is fine ;)

    And has not yet had caffeine (besides that in chocolate) and is almost 4. Score! :) Trying to keep that up for her.

    Can you drink decaf just to pysch yourself out?

  2. *Had to make, sorry. Not hate to make.

  3. Diet Coke is my crutch...going cold turkey without the caffiene is a great accomplishment. Way to go. I was only a two a day Diet Coke consumer, but I still got the withdrawl headaches when I gave it up cold turkey. The second time I gave it up (yes there was a second time, I scaled back first. I'd say you're over the hump, you can do it.

  4. Ha! Yep. I do drink decaf (pretty much every day). It's the ambiance of sitting down to write with a hot cup of coffee, I think. ;)

  5. Ha! Are you trying to tell us something about the pregnancy thing?? And I agree with Betsy, I was told one cup of coffee was harmless... sometimes on days I had to teach I drank two (gasp!). And I now get at least 200 mg a day... but it's gonna hurt when I want another pregnancy.