Writing Beverages

When you’re in the throes of writing—whether you’re on a deadline or in the midst of NaNo or just have a story you’ve got to get down—it’s important to stay hydrated!

Everybody has their favorite beverages for when they’re mid-draft, but here’s how I keep myself going:

The Classic: Water
I know, water is boring, but it’s important. No matter what other beverages you consume while typing or scribbling away, water should always be on your list. The health benefits are numerous, and it’s a relatively easy way to keep yourself from falling into bad habits when you’re more concerned with the next plot point than where your next meal is coming from.

Personally, I like to try to drink about a cup of water for each non-water beverage, and so far, that seems to have worked out okay.

The “It’s Too Early For This Shit”: Black Tea
I have never been a coffee drinker, but I will easily consume my weight in tea. So when I need to wake myself up in the mornings and try to get in a few paragraphs before work, black tea is the way I go.

It helps wake me up, and it doesn’t have quite as much caffeine as coffee, so I can drink four cups without feeling like I’m going to vibrate out of my skin.

Preference: Stash’s English Breakfast
Backup: Twining’s Earl Grey

Tea cups

Mmmm, tea…


The “Midnight Madness”: Spicy Black Tea
You’ve got two hours left to write on November 30 but you’re about to faceplant on your desk and dream a little dream. You have a deadline at 8 a.m. tomorrow, it’s 10 p.m., and you have at least six hours’ worth of work you need to get in.

This is where I turn to the spicier teas. They have a stronger flavor, which wakes me up faster, and since they’re black teas, they’re higher in caffeine. I do have to be careful about them, though, because three cups of my favorite spicy black tea will push me toward the caffeine shakes, which is distracting when you’re trying to write.

Preference: Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice
Backup: Chai. Any chai.

The “I Need To Write But Don’t Want To Be Up All Night”: Herbal Tea
My feelings on herbal teas are iffy, but I can’t drink caffeine after 9 p.m. if I want to sleep before 1:30 in the morning. So when I’m writing late but I know I can’t stay up until dawn, herbal teas or decaf teas are where it’s at. I’ve found several that have a good flavor and taste particularly good with raw sugar or honey as a sweetener.

Preference: Stash Tea’s Cinnamon Vanilla
Backup: Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry

The “Time For a Sex Scene”: Red Wine
It’s good for setting the mood, and it’s even better if you’re like me and occasionally have to work yourself up to typing the word “cock.” (Okay, I don’t have to work myself up as much now, but when I first started writing sex scenes, getting buzzed first was almost mandatory.

Also it helps you forget that, should this book get published, your family will probably read the sex scene you’re writing right now.

Preference: Pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, or a decent red blend.
Backup: I pretty much always have a bottle of red wine on hand.

So what about you all? What do you like to drink when you’re writing? Are you a tea person like me, or do you prefer coffee or soda? Or is there something else?

Tea photo by A Girl With Tea


One thought on “Writing Beverages

  1. Alex Hurst says:

    I’m a chai girl. 🙂 This post brings to mind one of my favorite quotes:

    “There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea.” ― Gary Snyder

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