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Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing? 
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Post Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
Writer Will Self is going to be interviewed tonight at 10pm on Sky Arts 1 - he talks about the role drug and alcohol addiction once played in his life. Found a good clip here: http://www.skyarts.co.uk/video/video-in ... will-self/

The interview is part of a new series called In Confidence hosted by Professor Laurie Taylor. The show "delves beneath the surface of some of the most creative spirits of the decade in probing interviews": http://www.skyarts.co.uk/film-docs/arti ... onfidence/

Do you think having the odd drink, or other substance, is important in getting the creative juices flowing? After all, we wouldn't have Frankenstein if Mary Shelley hadn't famously been on a bender opium trip with her fellow literary mates. What do you think? :D



Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:17 am
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
Maybe marijuana because that makes everything exciting for people so it might cause the writer to think outside the box more easily and a lot more. So im thinking yes, but depends one what drug cause some drugs make people stupid and some make people into somewhat of an artist.


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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over The Cookoo's Nest while on acid.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's a smart idea or that it works for everyone in every situation. Using any sort of mind-altering substance changes your outlook and, therefore, sparks a new type of creativity. Or it can stymie creativity completely. I don't plan on an acid trip to see if the next book I write will be a bestseller and a blockbuster on the movie screen. But, who knows? For those who are suffering with writer's block, it might be an option. :twisted:


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Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:15 am
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
no, you can't drive a car or drive a golf ball when your under the influence. What makes you think that you can write or be creative?



Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:02 pm
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
I can drive a car while under the influence. I wouldn't recommend it or suggest that I do it often, just simply stating that I can. By your logic, I can therefore also write while under the influence. It may not be my best work, but I can do it, and there may well be some grain of it that is worth using in the future.

I don't think drugs should be used to induce a state of creativity where one is lacking it when sober, but it may free up some of the inhibitions and self-revision that many creative people go through while trying to write, so it could certainly be helpful if one decided to write during this period. Just don't try to read it to others until you're more clear headed and have done some editing, as likely it will be far less revealing and fascinating to them as it was to you when you wrote it.

And never drink and drive, and if you do, make sure to take a shot each time you pass a cop car.






I'm totally kidding, don't drink or use drugs and drive at all, kiddies. It ain't pretty and the fines are steep. Stay at home and write. ;)



Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
Well, first, driving is not a creative behavior. The awareness, focus, and attention required in driving (or golfing) is completely different than that needed to tap into the creative center of the brain. Therefore, I don't think the comparison works.

Not that I'm suggesting drug use, boys and girls. But the comparison needs to be related to artistic behaviors; painting, sculpting, etc. These things have all been done by famous people while under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

Another issue is, of course, the type of drug. Crack and speed, for instance, do not create the same state of mind that marijuana or LSD do.

Also, are we calling caffeine a drug? By definition, caffeine is, in fact, a drug. Yet millions of people use it each day and function perfectly fine - or so they think. Caffeine is a stimulant, as is cocaine. Stimulants do not enhance creativity and therefore would not be useful.

Just a few of my random thoughts this morning...


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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
I agree with everything you said, Darcia.



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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
I think that certain substances definitely enhance creativity. I can also believe that some people are so uptight when they are sober, that they can't relax and imagine the same things when they are sober as they can when they are in an enhanced state. Lots of creative people work under the influence of something, and run the risk of losing everything (life, liberty, freedom) and for them it is a payoff that is well worth the risks.

Many of them died very young. (Morrison, Joplin, Cobain, Heath Ledger, Shannon Hoon, Poe, River Phoenix, Brad Renfro.....)wiki "List of drug related deaths"... I wonder if they would choose the same payoff again?


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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
I'm not sure the payoff for any of those people had to do with creativity. Janis Joplin was a wreck early on and had addictive tendencies. Morrison's cause of death was never determined. Kurt Cobain was severely depressed and killed himself, having really nothing to do with drug addiction. (Drug use was a reaction to the depression, not a cause.)

Of course, musicians are often tossed into a world of excessive drug and alcohol use. Even Johnny Cash had an alcohol and drug problem. He wanted to be more alert and able to handle the crazy touring schedule he was on. For most of these people, creativity suffers and was had little or nothing to do with their original intention when getting high. I think those situations are different from someone using on occasion to spark creativity. Abuse of any drug, even caffeine, is detrimental in many ways. Cause and effect are completely different in an abuse situation.

For the record, I don't do drugs. I am, however, a product of the '70s and I survived unscathed. :)


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Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
:o Nope I don't.

Though I do like a glass of wine sometimes while writing at the end of a hard days work. It is relaxing.

Do I need it to write? No.

Do I think it makes me write better? No.

I guess it goes back to differnt strokes for different folks. :lol:



Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:34 pm
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
I wrote a paper once called "The New Author: A story not written while drinking vermouth"

For a few very long years I was a constant drinker and user and my writing suffered tremendously. It was darker, scarier at times and didn't flow out well at all.

I have been sober for two years in June, and I think that my writing now is the best I have ever done. I guess it depends on the person, really, but I know for myself it hindered my ability to write and my ability to live.


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Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:21 am
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
Congratulations on your upcoming 2 year mark, H.M.!

Your point is exactly what I was getting at earlier. Constant use/addiction is completely different than occasional use of any substance. Creativity is just one of the many things that suffer with addiction.


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Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:18 am
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
Maybe but it is also entirely possible that the end product will be a lesser quality writing. I guess it all depends on the person doing the writing and how they function when they drink/do drugs. If you are not 100% mentally due to drugs/alcohol then your writing may come out like someone's slurred drunken ramblings.



Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:50 pm
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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
They might, but first you have to be a good writer.

The bars of America are filled with drunks who think they can perform like Dave Matthews. Kids see Keith Richards and think, "Oh, he's on drugs, so I'll take drugs, too," but they fail to realize Keith Richards is FIRST a great rock and roll composer...and THEN he's a drugie.



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Post Re: Do you think alcohol and drugs help writing?
I agree with reader2121.
As I see it alcohol or drugs are ways to free yourself further and release your conscious into the world. The question then is whether the 'you' is good or bad at writing..

edit: wow oct! sorry I didn't notice at first..



Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:28 am
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