Step One: We admitted we were powerless over the printed word.

I was born to drink. I’m the daughter of Betty and Don Draper from Mad Men, and I swear I came out of the delivery room with Frank Sinatra crooning, “It’s no good unless you love them allllllllll the way,” a gin gimlet in my bottle, and a pack of Pall Malls tucked into my baby blanket.

I couldn’t wait to grow up and be like my mom–hosting cocktail parties, clicking about in slingbacks with matching sheath dresses, and nuzzling handsome men in dark bars with the flashing martini glass above the door. When one of those guys caught me taking a hit off the lipsticked butt of a Salem Menthol at age 7, I didn’t skip a beat before I answered the whatcha-doing question with a sweet-voiced, “Just pretending to be my mom.”

But things didn’t work out for drinking and me. Yes, I had my wild times in my early twenties, but I didn’t have the staying power; I couldn’t sustain a drinking life. The gift for real drinking had passed me by in the great genetic shuffle. And by 25, I had my nose stuck in a book. I wanted the literary life, the way my mom wanted the Rat Pack one. These days I can fall asleep after just a half a glass of Shiraz, but the right words can keep me up into the party hours of the night.

This blog is about my wild writing life, my desire to find myself on the printed page and to finally make sense of the thirst that runs through my family.

About Theo Pauline Nestor

Author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed. Learn more about my courses, editing, and coaching at
This entry was posted in Theo Finding Her Voice. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Step One: We admitted we were powerless over the printed word.

  1. Jorja says:

    theo, my first drag came from the butt of a KOOL that i had forged a check to get when i was nine, but unlike you, i was trying to be anything but my mother! look forward to reading about your writing vice on your new blog and learning about what makes your gift roll out of you with such force! cheers to you and the new blog!jorja

  2. 26Minutes says:

    love the forging a check detail, Jorja. It puts the story in a certain time. Thanks for following! I'm looking forward to being a guest blogger on your blog.theo

  3. Pingback: Updates from Theo | Writing is My Drink

  4. Dindy Yokel says:

    Hi Theo. Found you via Gretchen Rubin and the Happiness Project. Love your voice – truly funny. Am still smoking and drinking – such a bad girl but got to have a few vices. Keeping writing and sharing – so glad I found you today.

  5. Nona Goodman says:

    Actually, I found you in the (October) New Mexico Magazine, and have since read Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House. Just HAD to, after reading what you said… 🙂 I can’t tell you how profoundly it touched me… and how lucky I am to be so very close to New Mexico! And today, I found your blog! Howdy from Northern panhandle of Texas!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s