09/17/2012 03:02 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2012

Female Writers Reveal Why They Drink

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:

Quotes: Drinking Is Relaxing

2. Because it's social:

Quotes: Drinking Is Social

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

Quotes: Drinking Is An Equalizer

4. Because drinking helps us see the world differently:

Quotes: Drinking Helps Us See The World Differently

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

Quotes: Drinking Lessens Psychic Pain

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.

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