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Wine's avatar

Do you think a person may write better when slightly intoxicated?

Asked by Wine (626 points ) December 7th, 2012

It was just a thought that I had since most people are usually more talkative and relaxed with alcohol in their system. Though i’m not sure if it would be the best idea for one to test this with a college final that’s due in a few days. Any thoughts?

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22 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

I am really bad at writing if I am not under the influence of something. I find it makes me more creative.

Having said that, I am talking about weed, not alcohol. However, I still find I have much more style and imagination when I am under the influence of something.

Here is a story video I made, based on something I wrote a couple of years ago when I was real high one night, before I quit smoking weed. If I tried to write a random madness like that sober, it would not be so well done.

gailcalled's avatar

No. Let me repeat myself. No.

Ditto for drugs.

janbb's avatar

Wine do you ask?

zenvelo's avatar

A person who reads what he is writing when under the influence will most likely find it as brilliant.

The next day he may have trouble comprehending what he wrote.

Seriously, someone may write well after a drink or a beer, but not if they continue to drink while composing. It will deteriorate and have no logical flow, and be inconsistent with what they wrote in the beginning.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t doubt that some people – a vanishingly tiny minority – can do some things “better” (that is, “better than they could do sober”) while slightly intoxicated or on drugs. But that depends wholly on the person, the drug, and the level of intoxication, and also on how incompetent the person is when sober and reliant upon his or her “normal” faculties (which may be impaired by various neuroses and other disorders that prevent full functionality more than the intoxication frees the person from these inhibitions or restraints). It also depends on how long the task is, and what skills are involved, and how badly the person is disabled in a normal, sober state.

But I wouldn’t bet that way, and I certainly wouldn’t bet my own money – or my life – on the proposition.

Wine's avatar

I may just try to control how much I drink so that I don’t get too carried away. Usually when I try to compose something while sober I’m so technical about organization that I don’t spend enough time with details and examples. I also stress out so much to the point that I over think organization and do it entirely wrong. Thus leaving me with a poorly written paper.

ucme's avatar

I write perfect arabic when i’m drunk, from right to left, purely by chance of course.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know how people can do anything drunk or high. It always totally knocks me out. I have no energy. No creativity. No ambition. All I want to do is lie around. If I’m really high, I want sex and food, but can’t get together the energy to make them happen.

But people’s experience varies and I’m sure there are some people who will write better drunk. Not me, though.

JLeslie's avatar

I doubt it.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

When I was at university I had a friend who swore that the best lecture notes they ever took was when they had consumed a few beers. They felt that they had managed to write down every single word that had been said over that hour, but when looking at their notes they appeared to have written them in Persian rather than English.

I think the key to what I am saying is that it appears great at the time, but when Mr Hangover pays a visit and the words are looked at again the reality hits home in that it was not as good as they imagined it.

Sunny2's avatar

I’m sure the words flow more easily. The test is in the sober reading the next day.

bookish1's avatar

I’ve been known to do some good writing inebriated, but only when I have put hours of sober thought into an outline or plan, and have time to proofread before I submit!

marinelife's avatar

One does not do anything better when slightly intoxicated—one just thinks one does.

jerv's avatar

Slightly, yes, but it’s easy to overdo.

Those who disagree should ingest enough caffeine to got the lower limits of Tachycardia and them see if they do better work if their mind is racing out of control, their hands are shaking, and focus is impossible. If so, them I sam wrong, but I know I do better work when I have a focused mind and a steady hand, and I also know that there are many people far more high-strung than me.

That said, it is easy to go too far, and the quality of work will decline rapidly if you become actually drunk.

See also: Ballmer Curve

PeppermintBiscuit's avatar

Yes and no.
Being slightly drunk will help creativity to flow. If you’re experiencing writer’s block, or the words just aren’t coming out, loosening up with just a little bit of alcohol might help.
What it won’t help is your writing skills. The ideas may come out easier, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be coherent. Grammar, spelling, and just plain good taste will all suffer.
If you have time (doesn’t sound like you do), I would say have a drink or two just to loosen up and get your first rough draft down on paper. Then come back to it the next day and give that sucker some serious editing with a lot of red pen.

Kardamom's avatar

@Wine You’ve heard of drunk Fluthering haven’t you? ‘Nuff said. Oy!

bookish1's avatar

@Kardamom : Druthering is always contraindicated!

Bellatrix's avatar

All about levels. A glass of wine might loosen the tongue (fingers) but other than that no. Didn’t Paul Macartney and John Lennon write a lot of their music under the influence of drugs? Not advocating this and let’s be honest, there are some tracks they wrote where you can definitely see the drug influence and it wasn’t an enhancement. I do think if you are feeling constrained or finding it hard to ‘let go’ a glass of wine might help. Not so much that you can’t type or are writing jibberish though.

bookish1's avatar

@Bellatrix: Cf. all of Magical Mystery Tour.

Bellatrix's avatar

:-) Nods… although I love The Beatles – even the druggy stuff.

bookish1's avatar

I am pretty sure the White Album was equally psychotropic inspired… But I think they were better drugs…

CWOTUS's avatar

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

—By all reports, Coleridge was doing pretty well at this until he started to come out of his high, and that’s when he lost it. Still, it’s not the way the smart money bets.

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