1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing under the influence

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hubardo, Jun 17, 2015.

    I think Hemingway said something like, write drunk, edit sober. I just had a big beer and I can't write (or edit) for shit. Here's a thread about writing drunk, high, whatever. Does anyone play around with this?
     
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  2. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I rarely write sober. Even last night I sat in a pub and got through several beers while tapping away. At home it's usually whiskey or wine. But I don't get drunk off my nut. Just a tipple to loosen the juices.
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hemingway never wrote drunk.
    That said, a glass of wine or two sometimes lets me get more emotional about my characters. But for description and other passages, I don't usually drink while I'm writing.
     
  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The writer of that article doesn't get the message. They dismiss the notion of writing drunk as bad advice by focusing on the fact that writing isn't 'whimsical, but hard work'. The whole point of the quote, regardless of who said it, is suggesting that write drunk because it frees up your thoughts and dulls the inhibitions, and THEN you do the work, which is the editing. And it has nothing to do with glorifying addiction. Just because you get drunk doesn't make you an alcoholic. It's a dumb article, but an interesting insight into Hemingway, who I like.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Sorry, I was only addressing the Hemingway quote with that link and it cited an interview with Mariel saying he wrote in the early morning, aka likely sober.

    I don't in any way vouch for that blogger's added personal opinion. It's why I didn't include the blog title in my quote.

    I should have added a disclaimer. :)
     
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Still an interesting link and, technically, relevant. ;)
     
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  7. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    The last time I got drunk I had difficulty focusing long enough to read the flavor text on a Magic card so ... gonna give a pass on the thought of writing drunk :p
     
  8. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    As with most aphorisms, they should be taken with a grain of salt -- and maybe a slice of lime. I take the quote as 'write without analyzing as you go, let everything come out, then worry about what thoughts -- crappy or too blunt -- you left in the aftermath.' Unless he was just talking to the uber-perfectionist in all of us....
     
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  9. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    Not writing as such - but some great ideas and niggling bits of plot solutions come to me at 4am after a thousand pints. I just keep a note of them for later.
     
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  10. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thought alcohol would help the ideas flow freely, and I have tried writing at many different levels of intoxication, but all it seems to do is prevent me from thinking clearly and make me more easily distractible.
     
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  11. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I tried writing a character description while tipsy the other day, and re-read it the following day.

    Here is a word-for-word excerpt of what I found:

    Some find him pathetic, others find him brave, and still others simply don’t even notice him. In reality, he’s just unbiased. He likes to observe. I’m going to re-read this and realize that I drank to much beer when I wrote it. His personality is muddy, I can already tell.

    Yeah. I can't write while drunk/drinking. Period. He's pathetic and brave? He's just unbiased? He likes to observe? What the hell does any of that even mean?

    ETA: Hemingway was probably drunk when he said that.
     
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  12. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    "Some people don't notice him" is, to be fair, a very honest description, hahah.
     
  13. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Idea. Drunk collab. In the collab section. Bad idea, I know. Who's in.
     
  14. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm totally in. But like, right now, right now?
     
  15. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Shit. Good question. No. I hate this idea. I hate writing drunk. It's so stupid. Wait yeah, now. Wait no, no. Nevermind. Wait. Okay. No. Yeah, no.
     
  16. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I mean, I think it's a great idea. But I have to work in the morning. I can't just drink whenever I feel like it anymore. I'm old and I get hangovers now. o_O
     
  17. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wish I could like my own post
    Same. I have an important thing at 9am, being interviewed for somebody's dissertation research. Such a lightweight, this big old Stella I drank like 3 hours ago still has me typing like an idiot.

    All I want to do is get my stupid 450 word flash fiction submission all A+'d out, which is impossible, which makes me mad/sad, which makes me want to not write it.

    Hey maybe a good novel would be in epistolary style where characters write texts and emails to each other on different drugs. Somebody who can write well -- steal the idea and make it happen, pronto!
     
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  18. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Go home, you're drunk.
     
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  19. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I have a prescription of Xanax for anxiety, and my best writing happens while, "under the influence." I do everything a lot better while on Xanax. I program, write, design, etc. It really calms me which then seems to put me into an eased mindset that makes working a lot easier. I do my best to not become reliant on it to get work done, though. Definitely don't want to go down that path.

    Some times it's hard, though. I can go days without doing a single thing, but then I take a Xanax and I get more work done in the next 1-2 hours then I did all week.
     
  20. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Reminds me of my best friend's meth addiction, except it's not at all similar. He had all advanced classes in high school and found that his workload was unrealistic. Then he discovered meth. He never went back to not-meth. Fifteen years later and he has some of his teeth, jumps around entry level jobs, his family has disowned him, and you can't really understand anything he says. But he got really good grades for a while!

    Again, no comparison. Just reminded me of him is all. Subject change time!
     
  21. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Don't think I take offense. I understand it's not advisable, which is why I don't use it often (Once a month). I only use it as prescribed, but when I do use it I make sure to take advantage of the motivation. There's small risk of me becoming a xanax addict who can't function without it. I have a fair amount of willpower, and can keep myself from abusing it.
     
  22. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can type just fine while drunk, sure takes a bit more concentration, but the problem is I don't give a shit whether or not I do or not, so smtimes it uwho guves a fucvki.
     
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  23. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I disagree that it's a dumb article. It makes a good point. People do glorify horrible behaviors and habits. One of the main reasons I tried and temporarily got kind of hooked on heroin was because one of my favorite musicians was a heroin addict. I believed that the heroin was part of his character, what pushed him to create some of his best work. Sure, that was an error in analysis on my part, but I'm not alone. Lots of people make that mistake and I think it's important somebody make the point that recklessness and emotional instability are not necessary ingredients for art-making.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  24. rincewind31
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    rincewind31 Member

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    You're my besht mate you are pal!
     
  25. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Now-a-days (and perhaps it has been for a long time) marijuana is put out there like it's this magical drug that will make you a creative powerhouse. I partook very heavily for several years, and I can say that I got almost nothing done in those years; whether creative or simply productive. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I doubt it given the stereotype marijuana users have been given in the last 40 years.

    I can say that I did come up with some great ideas while high, but 1. had no motivation to act on those ideas and 2. half the time I'd forget the idea the next day. Since I quit using, I've had the most productive year in my life so far. Quitting is probably the wisest decision I've ever made, and I don't see myself ever doing it again.

    This is off-topic, but I want to say I do believe in it as a medicine. I used it during serious flares in my disease (Crohn's), and it was a miracle drug as far as comforting and easing my pain.
     

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