The Sunday Session….What Are Your Thoughts On….

…….writing/creating while being under the influence of alcohol (or anything else!). As Ernest Hemingway once said ‘Write drunk; edit sober,’. I don’t think he meant that literally (or, maybe he did!) but it got me thinking about artists/writers who may in fact create masterpieces while under the influence.

Stephen King has said he doesn’t remember writing Cujo – a classic King novel, no doubt – however he says he wishes he did. Would you be able to live with that? Knowing you are capable of writing that well but not being able to enjoy the moments? The way I feel Β after I re-read a powerful scene thinking, ‘gee, did I write that?!’ is indescribable. I don’t think I could sacrifice that.

Now, I’m definitely not advocating doing anything under the influence of alcohol (or anything else!) but is it something you have done? By accident or otherwise? Whether it’s a story, poem, artwork, a song……Personally, I never have and I don’t think I will. See my comment above. Also, I get happy after a few bevvies and we all know I don’t write when I’m happy πŸ™‚


About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

16 Responses to “The Sunday Session….What Are Your Thoughts On….”

  1. Nice question.. I personally think that we are so bombarded and brain washed by society, education the media, evolved culture, big business and survival in a crazy world, that sometimes an altered state of consciousness might allow the doors of perception to swing open and reveal a different way of seeing things. We can be so busy stuck in drive mode that we fail to see that we are on entirely the wrong road..

    That said alter your state of mind too much and you fall off the road to the point that it becomes hard to rejoin..

    Drop the ego and things certainly change.. Many do this in a piece meal fashion through banging their brains with drugs, but meditation is probably a more positive and useful way of doing it..

    Any, thanks for stirring my sober mind..

    Not sure how this guy writes, but this really stirred me recently..


    • Ooooh, interesting stuff. Thanks for posting it. πŸ™‚
      You make a really good point. There are other ways to alter our perceptions. I was a little reluctant to talk about drugs (not my thing at all) but I didn’t think about meditation. Opening your mind like that, letting the inspiration come to you with no boundaries whatsoever and being in control of it – what a wonderful state to be in πŸ™‚


  2. Me neither… Sounds a bit dodgy for me. I suppose the whole idea behind alcohol and being drunk is that “you lose control of your inhibitions”, this may be useful for writing about emotions, but then you get the hangover the next day and memory loss, and the story hangs in the balance.


  3. I tried to type onto my wordcount for NaNo whilst drunk, but I really struggled to keep the laptop on my lap! I also feel really ill when drunk, so thinking is something I aim to not do whilst trying to recover πŸ™‚


  4. Interesting subject! I never sit down at my computer and write drunk, but sometimes the odd glass of wine or bottle of beer can help loosen my mind. However, I’ve probably made a lot of notes under the influence as a lot of my writing takes place away from the computer, when I’m not even thinking about it. That’s why smartphones have been a great help to me.


    • Does your tipsy stuff differ from your sober stuff? Maybe I should have a couple of drinks tonight, jot some ideas down…..only to prove a point, of course πŸ™‚


      • I think my tipsy stuff is a lot deeper, so it’s worth a drink if I really want to get inside a character’s head for the gritty stuff! You should give it a go … only hot prove a point, of course!!! πŸ™‚


  5. I think our best writing always comes out of the influence, just not of alcohol or any other substance. When I’m on a roll, I’m tapping into the deepest recesses of my soul, those areas that are neglected or shoved aside in ordinary awareness. What pours out in those times is, to me, sublime! xoM


  6. I totally agree with Ernest Hemingway! I think of stories after a few glasses of wine and will write down ideas – but I never edit in that state πŸ˜‰


    • What do you make of them when you re-read them sober? I do sometimes get flashes of ideas while having a drink but I never write them down. It’ll be interesting what our sober mind thinks of our tipsy mind πŸ™‚


      • Some are great (others not so great) but I find a couple of wines stimulates those creative cells. It’s also good to get a few friends together over a drink and talk about themes for stories, endings and characters.
        I have one friend who questions me about characters while I’m in the process of creating one. They ask me the questions as if I’m the character. Where was I born, my favourite music, food I like to eat, my family, pets (you name it!). It’s amazing how this can really put the flesh on the bones of a character πŸ˜€


  7. I’ve never actually tried to write whilst under the influence… you know what though, I think I might try now lol πŸ˜‰



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: