Forums - NSFW Discussion - Drugs, Alcohol, and the Creative Process

I’m wondering what sort of experience with the creative process that people have with drugs and alcohol, and the creative process. I am sure there must be some writers among us.

I’ve done some experimenting in my time.

Alcohol - in light doses (like one drink or less), generally acts as a social lubricant. But with writing it helps me with several bits of the process.

1. It cuts me off from anxieties. I have big issues with anxiety and time, when I am not being productive, I tend to get anxious. One drink kills this feeling, and so I can do things that don’t feel productive, like writing.

2. It breaks the logic blocks that hinder the creative process. 

3. It’s fun. That is, it satisfies the mind in the same way that watching a TV show or listening to music does, but without the distraction.


Weed - cannabis is a difficult one, my blank creativity is well..... blank! I can’t smoke and then sit and write. BUT I can edit fantastically.

When writing, I have this very clear image of the complexity of the sensory output of my writing and the adequacy of the messages I’m trying to convey: like “I can get this same effect in about 1/3rd the complexity of what I’m writing now” and it has helped me, generally, write in a much less convoluted way, even when the psychoactive effects are gone, sometimes for days or weeks after (especially now after I have done this for years).

Writing with resources (notes and such) is also WAY easier when high, but IMO it’s a better second draft type drug.... a HORRIBLE first draft drug

Anyone else have experiences? Learnings?

I am very curious about illicit and prescription substances. I know some people use aderol (??) and such. What about opiates and cocaine? I have zero experience with market pharmaceuticals, psychedelics, or hard narcotics, but am curious about other people’s experiences with them.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

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This thread reminds me of the book, "The Artist's Way". The author was a screenwriter, I believe. She said she initially relied on alcohol for spikes of inspiration, but also the inspiration was very much feast or famine. Eventually she developed another methodology (which is what "The Artist's Way" is about.) After that she didn't get intense spikes in creativity, but instead was consistently putting out creative works and she didn't get writer's block anymore.

That's my $.02



I'm a writer, and some of my best work as been done under the influence of either alcohol or large amounts of caffeine.

In fact, my usual M.O. for when I'm doing to write an article for either work or my personal blog is to make a damn strong coffee and let my brain go into overdrive. 

The most popular article I've ever written was created when I was mildly drunk.

Both seem to lubricate the flow of words and let my brain string them together more easily and without getting stuck, mostly by preventing me from overthinking it.

I'm also on a hell of a lot of prescription meds; clonazepam/efexor/risperidone for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety, and lyrica for nerve pain. All four can have effects similar to alcohol but much more subtle and mild. I'm unsure as to the impact they've had on my writing as they're a long term thing rather than something that effects me dramatically for a short time like alcohol.

As an autistic I have a very sensory feel for words, they almost seem to have their own taste and texture in my mind, and both alcohol and caffeine seem to intensify this.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 30 July 2020

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

I was a musician for a long time. Weed was my creative gateway. Created some good stuff under the influence... But you know, grow older and have kids and responsibilities now.. too much to lose.



Man.. I hate it when your girl has to leave my place to come back to you..

I don't drink or do drugs and never have a creative shortage as my brain honestly never stops going. It's coming up with stuff 24/7 and I struggle to sleep because of it. I sleep very little and been that way forever. I come with ideas for things or stories or solutions to problems. I try to write them down but kinda lose track sometimes. They just sorta pop in day and night. My body is always tired but my brain is always on high alert.



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Don't believe the hype around crack. Find a nice cocaine dealer, cook the crack with some friends, and thank me later.



Chinese food for breakfast

 

I guess I have drank a bunch of caffeine before and went to town on a bunch of papers! It is funny, one time I didn't drink caffeine and finished my paper early, and the teacher said it was the worst paper I ever wrote. The ones that I submit with 0 hours of sleep and a bunch of caffeine late into the night got me good grades :/.



Leynos said:
I don't drink or do drugs and never have a creative shortage as my brain honestly never stops going. It's coming up with stuff 24/7 and I struggle to sleep because of it. I sleep very little and been that way forever. I come with ideas for things or stories or solutions to problems. I try to write them down but kinda lose track sometimes. They just sorta pop in day and night. My body is always tired but my brain is always on high alert.

I see it the exact opposite, it's not for lack of ideas that alcohol becomes helpful - it's the heavy abundance of them and not being able to weave them in that creates the need for it. A bit of alcohol gives that clarity to look past all the stuff that doesn't work or how to make it work if it should be in there.

Another area where alcohol comes in helpful is when I'm sitting down and actually writing (and it might work differently for others). Every element, the conflict, the tension, the visual, the action, the perspective and how the other elements live within that perspective, and how it all weaves together (if it's an article, a work of fiction, or something else). I will drink when working on spreadsheets too, especially for unique cases where I don't already have a template worked out.

Where the cannabis becomes helpful is having all of those elements sitting before you, expressed in words, and then being able to perceive the complexity, and see the knots, where stuff needs to be flattened, compressed, and stretched... moulded into a greater work.

In music, I can see how cannabis works well, because the complexity of the sound is FAR easier to analyze than the sober mind - which is WAY muddier in terms of how it all blends (if that makes sense, I think musicians MIGHT be able to kind of see what I'm getting at).

For example,

When sober, the song is one thing, when high the song is at least 4 things. I think, even sober, you can kind of perceive a bit of what I mean here.

All the different layers are crystal clear, and you can hear exactly how they all come together. The more subtle lower layers of the song can be brought up to the surface. And while the sober mind can dig through it, the experience just isn't the same. Anyway, I can see how cannabis would greatly enhance the musical making process, in fact, I can hardly imagine composing or producing without it. Because you have your instruments, and you can kind of edit while going along.

But I wonder (since I'm not a composer by any means), with music, would you start with the weed? Or would that come into the process while jamming or tweaking?



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.