1. atsgtm2018
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    atsgtm2018 Member

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    Fueling the Creative Juices

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by atsgtm2018, Aug 26, 2016.

    It's a euphemism for what I do to fuel my writing. I like to drink and write. I don't get plastered to where I can't write a coherent thought, but I have between 3-6 drinks as I write. I think it makes me more honest. I don't want any sugar coating in my writing, and I'm at my most honest when I'm drinking. Not that I can't be honest sober, it's just easier when I've had a few. I like to think it bridges the gap between when inspiration hits me and getting it on the page the way I want it to sound. Maybe that's lame and an excuse, but it's part of my process and it gets me to the most creative places and the most honest.

    Anyone else? Or maybe you got something else that lets the writing spill out. What gets you into that zone?
     
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  2. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    Jazz music and reading/watching something really emotional. Oh and dairy products. Don't ask me why, it just does.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My uncle, who was an accomplished jazz drummer, once said, "Alcohol doesn't make you play any better; it just makes you think you're playing better." I think that applies equally to writing.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    3-6 drinks seems like a lot, from a health stand-point, if you're writing regularly. I think you can probably get away with it when you're young or if you don't write that often, but as a regular, life-long habit, it seems a bit risky.

    But I do sometimes have a drink or two if I'm stuck on a scene. I agree that it can relax your brain enough to let new ideas sneak in.
     
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  5. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've not tried alcohol to help my writing, but I'm almost certain it would. Trouble is I'm in a bit of a state, health wise, and regular drinking for me would be a bad idea. I just know I would write more freely, lucidly and better if I was, let's say tipsy.

    I might buy a cheap bottle of plonk or something stronger and palatable like Schnapps and give it a try as an experiment. I've always wanted to see what my writing's like when slightly inebriated.

    I'm quite excited now. My local Aldi do this caramel / cinnamon type liquor which looks very nice. Probably not the best drink for a diabetic, but what the hell.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  6. atsgtm2018
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    atsgtm2018 Member

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    Go for it. I think you try whatever to stimulate creativity.
     
  7. Petesky
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    Petesky Member

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    Drink or drugs have always been a great influence on creative inspiration. Some of my best ideas lately have come about after a couple of drinks.

    And where would the Beatles have been without drugs? Nowhere, that's where!

    So, yeah. Go for it! :)
     
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  8. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    No drink, no drugs, no music. I write in as much complete silence as I can get while completely sober. I guess the opposite works for some of you but geez, I just don't see how I could write coherent thoughts or develop clever plot twists if I'm not sober.

    Now, I do listen to music and get inspired by it while not actually typing on a keyboard. I've written complete scenes in my head from a single song. All I need to do to recapture the scene or idea is listen to the song again but I can't write while listening to it. The music moves faster than I can type.
     
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  9. Greenwood
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    Greenwood Active Member

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    I used to drink about 3-4 beers while writing. It helped me loosen up and made my internal critic shut up a bit. Lately though, it seems alcohol only demotivates me to write. I have to make sure I am writing, and then walk up to the fridge. If i'm drinking first, for some reason I really like to think and brainstorm about my writing of late, but it doesn't lead up to actual writing. Some drinks and good music really "get my juices flowing", but more in the sense of evaluating problems and plot structure instead of the writing itself. Now that I think of it, it might have to do with what I'm drinking. I used to drink Pilsners exclusively, or otherwise spend 2 hours on a glass of liquor. Lately though, I switched pretty exclusively to Belgian-style, heavier Ales. These hit pretty hard and are easily underestimated, and I've found that the more smooth and subtle the buzz sets in, the better for my creativity. Since these ales can really pack a punch, it might have to do something with my "decrease" of writing while drinking. Have to check out how I do on some regular Pilsners soon I guess:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  10. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    I love drinkng a bourbon while I write. Depending on how long the writing session lasts I might have 2-3 more bourbons. I have found, though, that there's a point around 4-5 drinks when it hinders the creative juices more than it helps.

    Interestingly enough, I've found caffeine can have the same effect, but maybe that's just because I rarely drink anything with caffeine in it.
     
  11. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    I don't drink anymore (because my father is an abusive alcoholic and although I was a major pisshead in my younger days, unlike him i can choose to change)

    creative juice wise , I find that being tired works well to the point of doing my best writing while pulling all nighters (by best i mean most creative - tiredness is hell on SPAG)
     
  12. Laurin Kelly
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    Laurin Kelly Active Member

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    I often have a couple of glasses of wine while writing. Mostly because I like to drink wine in my free time, and that's the only time I have to write.
     
  13. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think this is an interesting and valid point because it shows this idea all depends on what you write. I can fully appreciate how being inebriated would hinder complex plot development, but if you don't write plots... if it's all character-based and comes from the gut I can see a few drinks helping.
     
  14. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    I used to drink whilst writing but I didn't like the end results which were a bit flaky and pretentious in the end.
    I now prefer complete peace and quiet and get most of my writing done first thing in the morning. I don't drink during the week either, which means most mornings start with a clear head.
     
  15. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Interesting take. I actually do write very character driven stories. Making my characters 'clever' takes a lot of thought. I don't feel as if I'd be as competent if inebriated.
     
  16. Greenwood
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    Greenwood Active Member

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    Anyone ever tried writing a scene in which a character is drunk while drunk?o_O
     
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  17. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Meta.
     
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  18. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does not compute... Does not compute....
     
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  19. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    For someone of my caliber, drinking only takes my warped and twisted mind and makes it worse. (possible slight hindrance, but that is what editing is for) :p

    Besides if it worked for Poe, then why not have a little liver tenderizer while writing? :D
     
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  20. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Never mind alcohol, this laundum stuff is great

    "In xandadu a stately pleasure dome, did a big fat moose decree
    with antlers measureless to man
    and hooves plunging toward
    a sunlit sea... "
     
  21. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thought I'd give this a go. Although I think I'd die of a sugar overdose before I got drunk as it's barely wine strength in terms of alcohol.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    My father was an alcoholic, so I always knew I was at risk. As a result, I've always avoided drinking as part of my creative process.

    Besides writers, I know actors who can't go on stage without having a drink first. In fact, one night I found myself on stage across from the leading man who was so drunk he keep yelling into the wings for his lines. Since there was only one person in the audience, I gave up on trying to keep the show going (I mean, what do you do when you're the only person on the boards who can string more than two words together?). I stepped down off the stage, sat beside our one audience member and the two of us made fun of the drunk for almost ten minutes before the director finally came out and called off the show. The show must go on? Apparently not. It ranks up there as the weirdest experience I've ever had while trying to commit the act of art.
     
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  23. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    I have a few different tactics to get myself in the zone

    -I pace back and forth, usually stuck in my mind in some argument I lost years ago, but would totally win now
    -play the piano. Well, play is a strong word. I assault the keys until they play a tune to my liking out of either fear or hope that it'll make me stop
    -I take a shower. No joke here, just advice; nothing is more calming than a shower.
    -I'll start up a completely new story, the total openness of a new page is always enough to get me going. An old one with pages of restrictions and lines I need to follow? That takes focus.
    -A snort of Coke. Not the drug, but the drink. Burns like hell, but it gets the juices running. Snot mostly.
     
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  24. Malisky
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    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    I agree with Chained on that one. Pacing is my minds unblocker. I go for walks in quiet places that I know by heart so I don't have to worry about directions. Also, this way nobody sees me talking to myself out loud. :p Verbalizing my story on the spot. (I think I ought to start recording stuff down).

    Putting on a song and listening to it over and over again, while staring at the ceiling. I'm progressively building on a scene. Sometimes for hours. My writing meditation.

    Before starting to write, I prefer to have already eaten but not too much, 80% full. I have a hot cup of coffee next to me (or whatever it is that I'm drinking), a glass of water, my cigarettes, an ashtray and my mobile. That's about it.

    I always keep a notebook and a pencil on my bedside table. Most times, I prefer writing there, but I get all stiff. Most of my beginnings are written on a notebook, while I'm lying on my bed. Then I transition to my desk and well... I've been struggling to keep my initial inspiration and focus while typing with the keyboard and looking at the screen, but it's difficult. I'm just trying to save time I guess, but end up with the opposite. Even this little text line marker that is always blinking is driving me nuts. It looks just like a countdown to something. Just let it be on!

    I sometimes write with music, I sometimes shut it down. When I write with music though, the volume is very low and the list is usually lyricless or songs that are spoken in one language that I don't understand or speak so well, so the words don't interfere with my verbalization. I might listen to music with lyrics I do understand too, but on rare occasions. When I'm really struggling with writing I listen to music only beforehand. Never while I'm at it. 100% focused. Silence really helps. You can hear your voice clearer.

    Feeling that I took care of stuff. I've paid my dues for the day. I'm not writing on the run. I hate writing on the run. I'm never focused while I'm at it. I should have a somewhat relaxed state of mind in accordance to the day chores. When I lack this I'm not so prone in writing anything. My demons get the best of me and I end up slacking off even worse.

    I write something else. Completely different and kind of random. But it is short and fast. Or many shorts. Whatever takes the steam off. Then I feel better and I can go on.

    I wear something really comfy. When I'm sitting on the chair I always have my legs folded up there too.

    I try to take notice of the time and arrange 30 minute breaks every two hours or so. (That's new to me. At least I try). Stretch, listen to louder music, have a chit chat, move in general. Get that blood circulating, get my mind to relax on something random and unimportant. Forget about my story for a while. Except, if I'm on a roll. I do not risk losing that for anything. Let me burn, I say! Ha, ha, ha, ha! :twisted:

    Drinking alcohol helped, until it stopped helping and now I'm off it again. I build high tolerance very fast so I take conscious breaks. When I feel like needing more than just three glasses of whiskey, or wine, or whatever to get me through the night, and wake up everyday feeling like I need a beer to snap out of the hang over, I draw the line. Good thing I'm not rich either. :p Until the next time of course.

    But my favorite of all is bad weather. Gloomy skies and villainous clouds that pour tons of rain. Oh, the sound of rain! It's magic. Strong winds. Feeling a little bit cold, but just a little. Writing while being covered in a blanket with the low power heater on your lap. Summertime for me is the worst of times to focus into writing. It is hard to write with a perfectly fine weather.
     
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