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Female Writers Reveal Why They Drink

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Each week, since we started the Drinking Diaries blog in 2009, my co-editor Caren and I have been asking women the same question: Why do, or don't you, like to drink?

These women -- writers and other creative types -- beautifully articulate their thoughts about drinking, its pleasures and perils.

Looking back on all the interviews we've done, I wondered: is there a common thread? While there isn't any one big reason women drink, or don't, I did find some themes.

I'll leave it to the writers to explain why they like to drink:

1. Because it's relaxing:

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2. Because it's social:

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3. Because it's a great equalizer; a ritual that cuts across time, cultures, religions and traditions:

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4. Because drinking helps us see the world differently:

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5. Because drinking helps lessen our psychic pain, (even if it's only temporarily):

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Stay tuned for Part II of this post: Some of the Best Writers of Our Time Sound Off About Why They Don't Like to Drink.

Leah Odze Epstein is a writer and co-founder of the Drinking Diaries. She is currently working on a young adult novel about a character who is the daughter of an alcoholic. She has reviewed books for BookPage and Publisher's Weekly, among other publications. She also writes poetry, and her poems can be found on the website Literary Mama.

Pre-order Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up on Amazon here. Friend the Drinking Diaries on Facebook or continue the conversation on Twitter .