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December 24, 2012
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Writing and Inebriation

:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I'm really curious. Writers being alcoholics is a common stereotype. Do you find yourselves relying on substances to be creative? Would anyone ever admit to that on a forum? or even to themselves? Does a glass of wine just help you get going?
This discussion is not a new one, I was mostly curious about people's experiences.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
Baudelaire wrote a book on the subject called Artificial Paradises.  Haven't read it in a while, but I seem to recall that wine got a glowing review, while he didn't think much of hashish.  So it goes.

I myself like coffee or other caffeinated beverages for writing, and I do find that a bit of wine of alcohol loosens me up.  Not drunk, though, just mildly tipsy.  My experience with other drugs is rather limited, but I can't say anything else I've done helped much on the production end.  Source material, though, it is very good for.
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:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012   Writer
I rarely drink while writing. If I do, it's generally because I had a glass of wine with dinner and haven't finished it yet. Or I just fancied having a little whisky. It's sometimes a mistake, actually: I find it difficult to write while tired, and alcohol can have much the same effect. But on the other hand, it's good to relax after a long day, so maybe it helps indirectly?

I did used to get up and make a cup of coffee before I sat down to write (and frequently later on if I hit a bit of a slump), but I stopped drinking it altogether a few weeks ago. I was a little concerned that might affect my writing ability, but as far as I can tell it hasn't made a difference.

For the record, I wasn't really aware of alcoholic writers being a stereotype at all, let alone a common one.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Professional Writer
I have the occasional drink here and there, never been to the point where I've been drunk, however. I've never actually written while having a drink, either. However, from what it seems, it doesn't sound like it would help very much with me personally. Everyone I know that ends up drunk can hardly write or type or anything, so I honestly don't know how well I'd be articulating myself under the influence of such things.
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:iconclaycowboys:
ClayCowboys Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Professional Writer
I can't write when inebriated and/or stoned. The only thing I really want to do under those circumstances is sleep and/or watch trash TV.
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Student Writer
I'm not sure alcohol is really a good idea while writing. I rarely ever drink, and I've never tried to write while drunk. Alcohol makes me feel hazy; it doesn't really seem like it's the type of thing that can help me think more efficiently or creatively. I think those write while drunk are the exception, not the rule.

I do find that going out to smoke a cigarette can help me refocus myself while I'm writing.

Marijuana is good for brain storming sessions, but that's about it, and I don't rely on it. It just happens that, sometimes, when I'm lighting up, I'm struck with a brilliant idea for a story or a poem. What ever I come up with will require heavy, heavy editing while sober.
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:iconmidnightmagnificent:
MidNightMagnificent Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Personally, getting drunk is good for my comedic material, but all other aspects of writing? Nah, it just goes down the drain. I find it hard to grab the pen when I have to make the choice between the whiskey bottle and the pen.

I need stone cold soberity for serious writing. Maybe the occasional gem of an idea can happen, but it's far and few in between.
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:iconbalaria:
Balaria Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
If I'm drunk I prefer to put on a crappy 80s horror movie and throw my brains in the corner instead of trying to write. Writing just goes better when I'm sober.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, so it's now OK to think of entire groups according to some obsolete stereotype? Cool.
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
I said it was a stereotype immediately. Don't turn this into something controversial, I'm not fighting anyone on anything.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It's a bit like asking a black man about fried chicken and watermelon...
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
No, what I was asking for were individual experiences--which could very easily refute a stereo type. We could have discussed how different substances influence how understanding of language or something. You don't need to be apprehensive or worried about being stereotyped, I know that all people are different, otherwise I wouldn't feel the need to ask them about their experiences.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not apprehensive or worried. I'm offended.
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
What I'm saying is you don't need to be offended, I'm not out to offend, if you thought that I thought all writers were alcoholics, then don' be offended, because I don't think that. It was just a misunderstanding. I can't offer you anything else.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
There is no non-offensive way to ask individuals of an affected group of any sort about whether a stereotype applies to them. Can't be done.

I'm not GREATLY offended. On the scale of offense, this ranks right about people who don't go right away when the light changes to green, and it's a short green. But if you think this kind of thing can ever be made OK with a breezy "no offense intended!" then you're going to be offending any number of people without ever understanding why.
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Stephen Fry put it best: [link]
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Drugs are a crutch for cripples.
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:iconbossanovaink:
BossanovaInk Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've never been drunk in my life, and I see no reason to start now. I can't imagine that I could possibly use alcohol as any type of motivator in my writing. Clearing my head to write out something that isn't complete garbage is already enough of a challenge, I don't know why some individuals think diluting their mind would somehow make the process any easier.
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I wasn't even really narrowing it down to alcohol, not even necessarily abuse of it.
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:icondj0hybrid:
DJ0Hybrid Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Considering I can't think straight when I'm exhausted (the furthest I would push myself in any form of mild alteration for non-medical reasons,) I wouldn't even try. Grant, I can get one or two good ideas but nothing can really be written down as a story at that point till I can focus.
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:iconmr-timeshadow:
Mr-Timeshadow Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I never had a drink in my life. Or tobacco or drugs. I can't tell you what they'd do for or against my creativity; it comes from being a little mentally unstable, I guess. Also from some wild, horrific dreams in my spotty youth.
I agree with the others that the boozy thing is a staple of an earlier age. If anything, drugs are the new stereotype for writers, and even then I'm not sure how omnipresent it is...
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:iconladyander:
LadyAnder Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
No, I can't write while I'm drunk seeing as I turn completely ADD and laugh at the most stupid things. All I want to do is talk. Its the best way to loosen my tongue but I have no focus. I like keeping my focus and I don't want to ruin that focus.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Writer
Common stereotype?  You mean something we attribute to a select group of American writers from the 20s and 30s? 

A good number of my friends write for a living.  None of them are alcoholics.  Many of them don't drink at all. 

This stereotype is really more of a fallacy.
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
It is a fallacy. But at least from my experience, when people think of writers (especially poets), there has always been some association with drugs or drinking. (It's probably because I'm in college right now and Bukowski is popular) Again, just a stereotype, but I was still curious.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Writer
I have never had anyone who wasn't a total jackass tell me the associate writing with substance abuse.
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Yep, lots of silly people in the world. I'm sorry if my post was offensive, I didn't mean for it to go that route.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Professional Writer
I guess it's like ~Lytrigian said...you can't make negative comments about large groups of people without being offensive, no matter the stereotype.
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:iconanotherhappycamper:
AnotherHappyCamper Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
I wasn't claiming any stereotype to be valid. I was asking for individual experiences and thoughts. Get off the hypersensitive high horse.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Professional Writer
What I'm saying is that whether a stereotype is valid or not, you're going to offend people by bringing it up.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012   Writer
i can't write intoxicated. i need to be able to think and concentrate on what i'm doing.
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