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Writing while intoxicated

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Nameback, May 28, 2013.

  1. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    It may be a little off track, but when I was at varsity I had a friend who was a third year medical student. He made a bet with another classmate to see if they could get through an entire year without ever being sober. I don't know how they did it, sheer brain power or something, but they both not only passed all their classes but were competing with each other for the number of distinctions they could get! I think one got five and the other six. Having said that I would never want either of these guys as my doctor. My friend got the nickname "hanger" that year, simply because wherever you went, whatever party he was already there, so drunk that he was falling down and needed to be hung up.

    For me I seldom drink anything. But sometimes I wonder when I reread what I wrote if I was completely off my face at the time!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  2. Jamber

    Jamber Sage

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    I've never tried to write while drinking, but the way this was put makes me want to try. :)
    If using a laptop, be sure to sit it above the level of the desk. I destroyed both a month old laptop and my thesis with a glass of water, once.
     
  3. Devora

    Devora Sage

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    I can't I end up staring at the screen and then just go to bed. (I drink at late night.)
     
  4. brokethepoint

    brokethepoint Troubadour

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    I like a good dark beer, but not for writing. I would prefer the pipe or cigar for writing, but the wife disagrees so . . .
     
  5. JSDR

    JSDR Scribe

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    I have a miserably low alcohol tolerance. I'm literally wasted, as in a waste of human molecules, on half a glass of wine.
    Therefor, I don't write while intoxicated. I might Beta while sloooooowly sipping a beer.

    I *do* drunk-tweet.
     
  6. Justin Cary

    Justin Cary Dreamer

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    I am sure a more ambitions person than myself could create a bell curve of alcohol to output chart and impose that against a alcohol to writing quality chart to find the inebriation sweet-spot :D
     
  7. topazfire

    topazfire Minstrel

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    I have abided with the Hemmingway quote more than once. It depends on the time of day, but I usually write with a cup of tea or a (big) glass of wine. I find that ideas do come differently and flow more easily sometimes, especially with big scenes and chapters that I view as daunting when sobre. Tipsy me gets (over) confident and dives right in regardless of the direction stone sober me had planned to go. I have usually had positive results with longer passages. The main thing that I have noticed is that ideas that I had clearly thought through and dismissed while sober, often rear their head when slightly intoxicated and I have to beat them down again in the morning...
     
  8. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I am highly amused by this entire thread. Though I am Irish, I have never tried writing while intoxicated. Why? I already have so few inhibitions, I figure why bother. However, this thread inspires me toward experimentation... hmm... maybe the wife will let me try it. ;) On the other hand, I notice that the ideas I have for stories when I dream are often profoundly stupid when viewed under the light of morning.

    Not all of us can be Hunter S. Thompson. Then again, I don't think he was, either.

    On a side note, I used to work camera on a local morning news program. Our director was a notorious drinker who hated showing up hung over, so he came up with an elegant solution. He simply showed up still drunk. Morning news was always very relaxed.
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  9. Firekeeper

    Firekeeper Troubadour

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    Absolutely, the words simply flow better, and for me that is the key. I'm plagued with doubt, and writing sober makes me all to aware of that. When I'm buzzed, not all out drunk (can't stand that feeling) but just had enough to be good and mellow I find I often find new ideas and new turns of phrase.

    Obviously edit sober, of course. Hemmingway was a wise man
     
  10. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Well, until that last bit, anyway.
     
  11. Firekeeper

    Firekeeper Troubadour

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    Indeed, that is true
     
  12. Chinaren

    Chinaren Scribe

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    I write whilst drinking a lot, it loosens the mind up, lubricates the idea centre of your brain. Also it's fun seeing what you wrote the next day!

    That said, it gets to a point when you have to stop, 'cos you can't hit the keys with any accuracy anymore.
     
  13. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    No, at least not to the point of feeling it. Sipping wine, whiskey, or beer? Sure. Drinking to the point of feeling it brings me zero inclination to write. Even when young, the only thing I ever wrote drunk was the occasional paper in college, but THEN, if I didn't write my papers drunk, I might never get any of them done, heh heh.

    In fact, I think I used to hold the idea that drinking helped, but after a time I realized that was rubbish.

     
  14. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Maester

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    I can not do anything if I have a drink. Even one little one. I learned that as a musician; even one beer would throw off my concentration and timing. My little glass of wine before dinner is the signal that work is done for the day.
     
  15. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Holy necro, Batman. I'd completely forgotten about this thread.

    In the interim, I have actually written while intoxicated, and I have mixed reviews. Aside from typos, it looks fairly solid and not too far off from my usual writing. However, it's a lot like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for yourself. I often have no idea I've written anything, and find open files and recently opened files that I have no memory of, pretty much littered everywhere. It's like, "What's this? What's this? There's conflict everywhere..."
     
  16. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    I'd also forgotten about this thread. But since it's back I'll just add one more tidbit. There's a theory called state dependent learning which basically claims that if you learn something while in a particular state (like drunk) you're more likely to remember it while in that same state. I don't know that it has any great validity as theories go. But I'd just ask - if you write something while drunk - do you have to also be drunk to understand it?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  17. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    I learned about this when studying forensic psychiatry.

    It's the reason you mainly remember jokes when you've had a few because the state you were in when you heard the joke and encoded it within your memory. The same neurochemistry has to be present to retrieve those memories.

    Obviously this wouldn't go for all memories but it is interesting, and certainly rings true from my personal experience.

    I've done heaps of writing while "affected" and I'd say it's pretty much the same as my other writing - but mainly because I'm so in control of my processes after nearly 30 years of writing seriously.
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  18. Karlin

    Karlin Scribe

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    I'm barely sane as it is, so I'm afraid of mind-altering substances. What would be left?
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
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