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The Lonely One
01-20-2010, 08:09 AM
Apologize if this is a repeat thread (I may have seen something like it in the past, but I don't honestly recall).

The thing is, coming from a family with a recovered alcoholic father, and a current alcoholic brother, and myself enjoying the occasional drink but knowing the road drinking can lead me down, I have a certain perspective that is this:

I don't think it's cool when writers talk about how drinking allows them to write, and how the association of alcoholism and writing is a natural one. I openly fight this idea, and would speak out against individuals who think it's "cool" to drink large amounts daily as a crutch to their creativity, or for any other reason, really. I mean, it's your body, do what you want. But I would openly argue against anyone giving the perspective to OTHER people that alcoholism is acceptable for ANY reason.

I personally think we as intelligent writers need to realize that either we love to write enough to do it sober, or we don't fucking love it as much as we thought we did. I think we need to fight against giving young, new writers the idea that "hey, I can have a few drinks and writing will be easier."

This is my perspective, and I'd be happy to hear others. I wonder what your reaction (you, my fellow AWers) when you hear someone talking about how "I just have a few drinks if I have writer's block."

I don't think we aught to model ourselves after Hemingway in writing AND in person. If anything we should realize the demons of alcohol in excess and take the model of the alcoholic writer as one to avoid.

Just some thoughts. Not to offend anyone, this is all just my opinion. But seeing as we're all passionate about writing I'd love to get a bit of dialog on this.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 08:25 AM
"Just a few drinks" is not alcoholism. I have no idea where you live, but I suspect the majority of AWers live in America, where folks seem a lot more jumpy about this sort of thing, living in an AA culture. Get pissed a few times and they recommend you come along to their local chapter.

And yes, I'm Scottish. A Scot, saying there's nothing wrong with a few drinks, huh?

Alcoholism is not attractive; neither is drunkenness. But if I, a grown woman, want to have a few drinks or feel like it loosens my synapses and make me write 'free' then I refuse to apologise for that.

Alcohol is not a demon, for God's sake. Alcoholism might be, but loosen up. I've had drunks, alkies and jaikies in my family too but that doesn't do anything to detract from my enjoyment of a perfectly legal substance.

The Lonely One
01-20-2010, 08:29 AM
Right, but I think we're talking about different things. Like I said, do as you may. Have a few drinks. This is not the same as alcoholism (to have a few drinks now and then). But to perpetuate a culture that alcohol+writing=okay/the norm...seems wrong. I'm talking about the more dangerous road that is this:

If one drinks every time they write, it is a vice. That may be my opinion but I'd argue it's a true one.

If the writing culture thus begins to tell new writers that drinking helps them write, it seems to explain away the dangers like a cool joe camel commercial. If you drink enough you write a novel. If you smoke enough you can get a river raft with your cigarette points.

I'm all for having a, as you say, legal drink as you prefer. I'd not tell you what to do with yourself. I myself enjoy adult beverages. I just don't think we should make it seem natural for drinking/writing to go together.

But again, this is just my opinion.

EDIT: Also, want to reiterate, not trying to offend or seem insensitive, either. If this thread ends up being a can of worms that leads to arguing of a non-productive kind, moderators feel free to remove. But to me it is something worthy of healthy debate.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 08:31 AM
I've written drunk before (two glasses of vodka, such a lightweight) and came up with 1,700 words in an evening. And you know what? They were good.

But sober I've written 11,000 words in one day before. If I kept drinking I'd fall asleep.

HighDesertBrat
01-20-2010, 08:34 AM
I stopped drinking several years ago, because I am an alcoholic. Which has nothing to do with being a writer. I never could write a word when I was drunk or even lightly buzzed. Though I did excel at waking up with new tattoos.

All that aside, if others can control their drinking and a highball or two helps to liberate the muse, good on them. I don't really see how an alcoholic writer is somehow worse than an alcoholic accountant.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
01-20-2010, 08:43 AM
I think writers being alcoholics is just another stereotype. Sure, there may be writers who are alcoholics and sure there are writers who enjoy a few drinks but to insinuate it's a writer's lifestyle is way offbase. Fight it like you would any other stereotype.

The Lonely One
01-20-2010, 08:46 AM
I've written drunk before (two glasses of vodka, such a lightweight) and came up with 1,700 words in an evening. And you know what? They were good.

But sober I've written 11,000 words in one day before. If I kept drinking I'd fall asleep.

Your and TT42's word counts are always encouraging, drunk or sober :)



I stopped drinking several years ago, because I am an alcoholic. Which has nothing to do with being a writer. I never could write a word when I was drunk or even lightly buzzed. Though I did excel at waking up with new tattoos.

All that aside, if others can control their drinking and a highball or two helps to liberate the muse, good on them. I don't really see how an alcoholic writer is somehow worse than an alcoholic accountant.

I also have been unable to write anything good (though I thought it good at the time) while drunk. I am not saying anyone should do what I tell them with their muses. Everyone should know I bid them do as they please. These are only my opinions which ultimately apply only to myself. But you must agree that an accountant does not have the reputation of being able to do their job better when drunk. A writer has that reputation, in my opinion.

My whole point is, one may do what they wish with themselves. I just don't believe in adapting this mode of writing to other writers who may develop stronger urges with drinking, may associate drinking with writing, and become unable to disassociate the two.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
01-20-2010, 08:51 AM
Who seriously advocates it? Seriously? People joke about it, people propogate the stereotype, but does society as a whole REALLY believe we're a bunch of alcoholics?

Claudia Gray
01-20-2010, 08:59 AM
Although I agree that perpetuating the idea of the self-destructive writer is no good, I don't know that any writer who admits to having a drink, or even writing under the influence, is helping to create that myth. Honestly, I think showing that normal, healthy alcohol consumption can co-exist with being a productive writer and balanced person is a good thing.

Slushie
01-20-2010, 09:02 AM
I'll have a few drinks when I write, sometimes. And I'll get high sometimes, too. But, weirdly, my writing is not any different from when I'm sober. Problem is, it's hard to read when written longhand.

Anyways, I don't think anyone here is actively promoting drinking while writing; at least, I've never seen it. This correlation probably comes from the reputations of Hemingway, Joyce, Faulkner, etc. as being heavy drinkers/alcoholics. "Hey, they drank a shitload and wrote some great stuff, so why can't I?" This logic, of course, is ridiculous. My point is, I don't think anyone is actively promoting this writing/drinking correlation; it comes from a person's internal interpretation of the past. Some people make that connection between sentences and shots. And others see it for what it is: bullshit.

The Lonely One
01-20-2010, 09:08 AM
Who seriously advocates it? Seriously? People joke about it, people propogate the stereotype, but does society as a whole REALLY believe we're a bunch of alcoholics?

Society, no. What I mean is, (some)writers advocate it. Perhaps not very often on AW but I've heard peers and even professors speak of drinking as an aid to writing in the company of students. Is it just me or does this not seem irresponsible? I've heard it enough, from enough people deeming themselves serious writers speaking to other writers, that I feel it's not just something I've imagined (though I do sometimes imagine things).

I'm not the anti-drinking campaign here, as much as it may seem that way. I just feel that writing is hard, and writing is a passion, and it's work.

Honestly, every time I hear a writer talk about how drinking can help the writing process, I'm surprised. Carpenters don't need a few drinks to work their trade. Mechanics don't swig a shot before they pop open your hood. They do the hard work, and if they showed up to work drunk, they'd be fired.

The Lonely One
01-20-2010, 09:13 AM
Of course I could be wrong, and my perspective is limited to myself lest you all shed light from your own experiences. I'm not hard and fast on my opinions. I'm open to learn from others. And from what you all have said already I'm beginning to see a more diverse view of the issue.

benbradley
01-20-2010, 09:16 AM
Mind if I have some popcorn with my beer?

:popcorn:

The Lonely One
01-20-2010, 09:19 AM
I think I need a beer, myself. I'm beginning to think this thread was a bad idea... :)

Slushie
01-20-2010, 09:22 AM
Society, no. What I mean is, (some)writers advocate it. Perhaps not very often on AW but I've heard peers and even professors speak of drinking as an aid to writing in the company of students. Is it just me or does this not seem irresponsible? I've heard it enough, from enough people deeming themselves serious writers speaking to other writers, that I feel it's not just something I've imagined (though I do sometimes imagine things).

It's definitely irresponsible for professors to be doing that, for anybody to be doing that. And I really hope that there are not people around here actively promoting this false dichotomy. But more than that, I hope people are smart enough to know that they need to make their own decisions and that they shouldn't always ask "how high?" when someone tells them to jump.

Part of this notion might extend to the general connection between drugs and creativity.

thewakingself
01-20-2010, 09:27 AM
Society, no. What I mean is, (some)writers advocate it. Perhaps not very often on AW but I've heard peers and even professors speak of drinking as an aid to writing in the company of students. Is it just me or does this not seem irresponsible? I've heard it enough, from enough people deeming themselves serious writers speaking to other writers, that I feel it's not just something I've imagined (though I do sometimes imagine things).

I'm not the anti-drinking campaign here, as much as it may seem that way. I just feel that writing is hard, and writing is a passion, and it's work.

Honestly, every time I hear a writer talk about how drinking can help the writing process, I'm surprised. Carpenters don't need a few drinks to work their trade. Mechanics don't swig a shot before they pop open your hood. They do the hard work, and if they showed up to work drunk, they'd be fired.

I see your point, because I too have dealt with alcoholics in my family. But for some, responsible consumption helps to get the creative juices flowing. Key word being responsible. For some, though, alcohol and other substances can be a crutch. When you can't do the work writing entails because you need to get high, when you need to get shit-faced just to write a few words or be creative... or when it affects your daily life, yeah. Problem.

When it becomes a crutch is when it becomes an issue, imho. Like it was for Stephen King.

Mr. Anonymous
01-20-2010, 09:30 AM
I don't drink very much/at all. Not a huge fan of how most alcohol tastes in the first place, and when I get drunk I actually feel slightly dumber. I haven't tried writing in that state - I doubt it, but who knows, maybe I would write better. People function differently.

However, you do say something that I think is interesting.

To quote, "I personally think we as intelligent writers need to realize that either we love to write enough to do it sober, or we don't fucking love it as much as we thought we did."

I don't love writing. To be perfectly honest, I'm not even sure if I like it. To me, it's okay. When it's going really well, I usually don't stop to think about it - which means I'm not really enjoying myself or having fun, I'm just into it/concentrated on it.

All writing is to me, is a means to an end.

So if I felt I could do things with alcohol that I couldn't without, writing wise, I'm not sure I'd pass that up. I do have a certain measure of pride, granted, and it would be difficult for me to rely on a substance to do what I feel I CAN do perfectly well sober. But that's not a completely solid barrier.

Another thing to consider - Hemingway wrote depressing stuff, which, in turn, is reflective of his worldview. Maybe drinking was kind of his way of coping (not saying it's an ideal or even a good way) with what he was writing/thinking/feeling. I view myself as somewhat of a tragedian, and though I may not drink TO write, I could see myself drinking as a way of taking my mind off the futility of existence, my increasing conviction that we lack free will, etc or any number of ideas/themes that make their way into my stories. I guess what I'm saying is, instead of alcohol being a catalyst for writing, alcohol might be a RESPONSE to writing, or even a RESPONSE to simply being the kind of person who could write what you write.

cscarlet
01-20-2010, 09:48 AM
Society, no. What I mean is, (some)writers advocate it. Perhaps not very often on AW but I've heard peers and even professors speak of drinking as an aid to writing in the company of students. Is it just me or does this not seem irresponsible? I've heard it enough, from enough people deeming themselves serious writers speaking to other writers, that I feel it's not just something I've imagined (though I do sometimes imagine things).Now, are the professors speaking of their own vices to college students? Or are they encouraging them to go out and drink to find their muse? There's a huge distinction here, mainly because (and forgive me for stereotyping here too, but) most college students do drink. Heavily. On their own, with no help, aid, or suggestion by professors. If I personally had heard this in a classroom in college, depending on the context, I would have either said to myself:

a) What a cool ass teacher.
b) What a drunk ass dip shit.
c) Mmmm.... wine. *drool*

It would have depended on the context.

Now, I'm not an alcoholic by any means (or even by stretch of the imagination). And I don't have an addictive personality so I really don't see myself ever succumbing to a vice like that. But I do love the occasional drink (or several). In college, I did drink. I had friends who did NOT drink. And truthfully, I really don't think the friends who drank would have been influenced by ANYONE else who drank, regardless of their stature. They wouldn't wake up one day and say "Hey, my teacher does it, that must mean it's okay!"

At that stage in life, most students are figuring out who they are completely on their own, and are old enough to make their own decisions.

Now if you're talking about a classroom full of freshmen in HIGH school, I would have a drastically different opinion (since that is an age that is much more impressionable). If that's the case, I retract my above statement ;) LOL


I'm not the anti-drinking campaign here, as much as it may seem that way. I just feel that writing is hard, and writing is a passion, and it's work.

Honestly, every time I hear a writer talk about how drinking can help the writing process, I'm surprised. Carpenters don't need a few drinks to work their trade. Mechanics don't swig a shot before they pop open your hood. They do the hard work, and if they showed up to work drunk, they'd be fired. This is I think your biggest misconception, and the reason I'm responding to the post. And I'm NOT saying this to make you feel bad or put you down, I just wanted to jump in because of it :)

I don't see how drinking is mutually exclusive to writers. What about the big "Executive" stereotype? The man who has good scotch in his office and offers with or without ice to his major business partners. Then he wines and dines his clientele after office hours to close a big account. Is that different? Or, just another stereotype ;) Or take lawyers: Have you ever seen a "lawyer" sitcom or drama on TV that didn't include the evening romp to the bar to either celebrate or commiserate over a ruling? To use your mechanic/carpenter reference specifically, how many times do you hear about the guys who sneak out back for a smoke? Is smoking not as bad as drinking? It's still addictive. And one could argue that one drink will not impair your mind, so is it really any different than relaxing with a cigarette?

I really do understand where your frustration is coming from, but I just thought I might try and bring in some added perspective. It's understandable that since you're appalled by certain stereotype you might certainly notice that said stereotype in real-life more often. That's just the nature of the beast, unfortunately. But on the positive side, I also believe that's your brain's way of saying "NO" so that you don't accidentally say "yes" to an addiction. It's a healthy repulsion :)

Libbie
01-20-2010, 11:23 AM
TLO, I am TOTALLY with you on this. I, too, think it's deplorable that our culture associates writing with drinking, and that so many people believe you must drink in order to be a "real" writer.

I don't drink at all. Nor do I use any other recreational drugs. Ever. My brain is too precious to me to screw it up, and writing is too precious to me to waste any time being useless and drunk/drugged.

But, like you, I come from a family of addicts, and I've seen what it can really do to creativity. It is no crutch and no benefit, let's put it that way.

Yeah, a lot of people point to Bukowski and other famous drunk artists, and say, "Look how great they were, thanks to their addictions!" I look at them and feel sad, and think, "How much greater could they have been if they hadn't fucked up their lives with addictions, and how much longer could they have lived and enjoyed creating beautiful art for the rest of us to enjoy?" Sad. Very, very sad.

Go you. There's at least one other writer out there who feels the same as you.

I'll never tell anybody else what to do. I'm a great believer in personal freedom. I'm fervently in support of legalizing all drugs, even though I don't use any of them and never will. People can make their own choices. But I strongly reject the idea that writers "need" assistance from substances in order to be creative or good or "cool." Fuck that very stupid idea.

Libbie
01-20-2010, 11:29 AM
Who seriously advocates it? Seriously? People joke about it, people propogate the stereotype, but does society as a whole REALLY believe we're a bunch of alcoholics?

Yes. More people than you might suspect seem to. When people find out I've written a novel and am trying very hard to get it published, they ask me if I want to go out drinking with them, or they make jokes about how much vodka I must have consumed to get that done. Or they make other comments assuming that I must be really into alcohol. When I laugh and then politely tell them I don't drink (ever, at all) they seem baffled. I must assume form the baffling that they were only kind of joking.

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 12:12 PM
:e2drunk:

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 12:14 PM
Here in Connecticut you can drive your kids around drunk, but don't you fucking dare smoke in the car with them. They'll drag you from your car and humilate you publicly.

aruna
01-20-2010, 12:20 PM
I don't think it's cool when writers talk about how drinking allows them to write, and how the association of alcoholism and writing is a natural one. I openly fight this idea, and would speak out against individuals who think it's "cool" to drink large amounts daily as a crutch to their creativity, or for any other reason, really. I mean, it's your body, do what you want. But I would openly argue against anyone giving the perspective to OTHER people that alcoholism is acceptable for ANY reason.

.

I've noticed this as well; though I think it's less prevalent these days. There's sort of a tradition that writers are a bit of an alcoholic bunch, and it's a stereotype that fits right into the "drinking is cool" mind set, because for most non-writers "writing is cool" as well. I like a glass of wine occasionally myself, but I'm very wary of dependence on any substance whatsoever. I believe that, even in moderation, over time it stunts the mind.
I've only been a heavy drinker once in my life, when I was 17, and stopped in time. But I replaced drink with marijuana, and when I started topractice Yoga I found that smoking a joint before meditation worked wonders for that practice. And then one day I realised: no. I don't want that. I want those effects without a joint; I want it to be natural. And so I stopped the smoking. That was in 1973.




When it becomes a crutch is when it becomes an issue, imho. Like it was for Stephen King.

I think it's better to make it an issue before it becomes a crutch. The more alcohol makes writing easier, the more a person is likely to turn to it to write, the more it is likely to become a problem. I believe in nipping things in the bud!

That said, we are all adults.

DrZoidberg
01-20-2010, 12:30 PM
I've experimented with both, and all kinds of drugs. The result of my experiment is that I write just as well sober as drunk, and about the same amount. It's just more fun when I do it tipsy. It's not good for my overall shape though, so I've stopped doing that now. Since I write every day.

But the drugs did nothing for me. On amphetamine, I wrote a lot. All total unusable shit. On ecstasy, I couldn't keep my focus to write anything really. On weed I didn't care about writing at all. Same from pills. Watching some porn before writing a sex scene I can highly recommend. Not really a drug, but intoxicating in a way.

But I have no opinion on the morals of it. Whatever works works. If writing drunk works for you, do it. But writing is a highly in-duh-lectual endeavour which shouldn't lend itself to any kind of intoxication, I wouldn't think.

I know quite a few journalists. A lot of them are drunks. But it's not so much from the writing itself. It's more about all the parties. For a journalist, networking is everything. People network the most effectively at parties. Nobody trusts the sober guy at a party. So they drink a lot. There's quite a few writers who also are journalists. Hemingway was a journalist. So it goes.

Polenth
01-20-2010, 01:21 PM
I agree that it's wrong to say writers have to drink/take drugs to write, but I also think people should be free to discuss their experiences. Though they may talk up being an alcoholic, it'll be clear from the behaviour the reverse is true.

I've known a number of drug addicts and I can see from their behaviour it's rotted their brain. I'd never take drugs based on meeting them... but if I hadn't been allowed to see what it did to people, maybe I would have tried.

gothicangel
01-20-2010, 01:39 PM
Who seriously advocates it? Seriously? People joke about it, people propogate the stereotype, but does society as a whole REALLY believe we're a bunch of alcoholics?

There is a UK author called Jane Wynne Jones, she wrote an article for Writing Magazine advocating it. All Hell broke loose.

Personally I don't drink that much anyway. It inhibits the mental processes and tends to make me sleepy.

There is nothing glamourous about alcohol or being drunk. It's just ugly, ugly, ugly. No matter what people may think.

SPMiller
01-20-2010, 01:53 PM
Alcoholism was incidental, I think, to the success of a number of popular and respected writers. They often had other problems, and their lives were trainwrecks. Maybe being a massive fuckup is a prerequisite for becoming one of the Greats.

Me, I don't drink often, especially not while writing. I have other things on my mind while drunk.

aruna
01-20-2010, 03:07 PM
Maybe being a massive fuckup is a prerequisite for becoming one of the Greats.



That's another myt that needs to be busted. IMO it's the other way around. Considering yourself a "great" often leads to messing up your life big time.

It goes a bit like this:

- Wow I'm great! I'm a God among writers! (actors, singers, famous-for-having-a-big-mouth-on-Big-Brother-nobodies)

- (still small voice of conscience): you're human, with a big talent

- No! I'm a God! I'm famous! I'm special! The world worships me!

- (still small voice of conscience): you're human, with a big talent

Repeat several times.

Finally:

- I'm a God! I'm famous! I'm special! The world worships me!

- (still small voice of conscience): you're human, with...

SHUT UP!!!!!!!

- (grabs bottle of vodka, downs it; or starts doing crazy stuff, etc etc)

SEE, I'M A GOD!!!!!


Inflated ego is responsible for most of these problems.

Priene
01-20-2010, 03:30 PM
- Wow I'm great! I'm a God among writers! (actors, singers, famous-for-having-a-big-mouth-on-Big-Brother-nobodies)


Cocaine, rather than booze, is responsible for quite a few of those.

SPMiller
01-20-2010, 03:33 PM
That's another myt that needs to be busted. IMO it's the other way around.You can be a massive fuckup without being a Great, believe me ;)

NeuroFizz
01-20-2010, 05:06 PM
If a writer is a "true" alcoholic (whatever that is) and claims he/she can't write without being in the cups, it is more than likely a case of using writing as an excuse to imbibe.

Writers come from the same cross section of the world's societies as most other professions. Personally, I think writers like to mystify the craft by over emphasizing the creative aspects, injecting magical and ethereal tones to it, and to hint (or overtly shout) that this level of creativity requires some extreme level of unusual mental organization or of outright craziness. Threads in AW frequently have posters trying to outdo each other in describing how offbeat or irregular they are in their behavior or their approach to life. It's kind of like the people who openly tout their genius. I've known some people who I would consider true geniuses (in the scientific world), and not one of them goes around telling people they are geniuses. In fact, they scoff at the suggestion. Likewise, I've known a few people who I'd consider to be far off in the scale of mental or emotional stability, and none of those people go around touting how crazy they are. Anything but--they try to hide their "issues."

If a person is a good writer and also has some unusual personal or emotional issues, the combination doesn't make that person cool. The only part of that person others should try to emulate is the first part--the good writer part.

JimmyB27
01-20-2010, 05:09 PM
Carpenters don't need a few drinks to work their trade. Mechanics don't swig a shot before they pop open your hood. They do the hard work, and if they showed up to work drunk, they'd be fired.
You're pretty unlikely to saw your thumb off if you try to write while drunk.

Alcohol affects people differently, I say there's nothing wrong with the odd drink or two, if you find it helps. I have a coffee every morning when I get to work, I find it helps me wake up. Is that so very different?
Having said that (and I think there must have been another thread like this, since I remember posting this before), I always remember something I read from Iain Banks in an interview or something. He talked about how every time he wrote when under the influence, it was always amazing, top drawer stuff. The best he'd ever done. But every time, the next morning when he booted up his computer, some heartless bugger had snuck into his house, deleted all his work, and replaced it with a load of nonsensical drivel.

Alpha Echo
01-20-2010, 05:18 PM
Yes. More people than you might suspect seem to. When people find out I've written a novel and am trying very hard to get it published, they ask me if I want to go out drinking with them, or they make jokes about how much vodka I must have consumed to get that done. Or they make other comments assuming that I must be really into alcohol. When I laugh and then politely tell them I don't drink (ever, at all) they seem baffled. I must assume form the baffling that they were only kind of joking.

Really? I have never encountered that.

I don't think I've ever associated drinking with writing. Sure, I've heard the stereotype. But, it's just that - a stereotype based on authors in the past.

As someone else mentioned, another stereotype is the executive with the scotch in his office. The lawyer that goes to the bar after trial. Wining and dining clients.

What about contractors/carpenters/truck drivers/etc. and smoking?

I don't think there's any correlation. I have written sober, and I have written tipsy. I enjoy my glass or two of wine every night, whether I'm writing or not.

Ken
01-20-2010, 05:33 PM
... many writers and artists have had their careers ruined or cut short due to alcohol abuse. So while having an occasional drink is okay, one really has to be careful and maybe consider abstaining all together. Alcohol is addictive and before one knows it they can be swept away in the tide.

And for those who do drink, rather a lot, I think they should keep that to themselves and not boast and brag about it on this message board. There are new writers and teens here who look up to some members due to their publishing accomplishments and congenial personalities. And if they read about these members drinking they may follow suit. Not cool.

So be careful everyone and don't become another statistic. You have too much talent to throw it away or gamble on.

List of deaths through alcohol (Wikipedia):

Name Death date Location Cause Age Occupation

Alan Watts November 16, 1973 Chislehurst, England Alcohol poisoning 58 Philosopher, theologian, prolific writer

Florence Ballard 21 February 1976 Detroit, United States Heart attack 32 Singer[2]

John Barrymore 29 May 1942 Hollywood, United States Various 60 Actor[3]

Brendan Behan 20 March 1964 Dublin, Ireland Alcoholism 41 Writer[4]

Bix Beiderbecke 6 August 1931 New York, United States Pneumonia 28 Musician[5]

George Best 25 November 2005 London, United Kingdom Alcoholism 59 Football player[6]

John Bonham 25 September 1980 Windsor, United Kingdom Asphyxiation 32 Drummer for Led Zeppelin, Musician[7]

Julia Bruns 24 December 1927 New York City, United States Alcohol poisoning 32 Actress, model[8]

Rob Buck 19 December 2000 Pittsburgh, United States Liver failure 42 Musician[9]

Richard Burton 5 August 1984 Geneva, Switzerland Cerebral haemorrhage 58 Actor[10]

David Byron 28 February 1985 Reading, United Kingdom Heart attack 38 Musician[11]

Truman Capote 25 August 1984 Los Angeles, United States Liver disease 59 Writer[12]

Leonard Chadwick 18 May 1940 Boston, United States Asphyxiation 61 War hero[13]

Raymond Chandler 26 March 1959 La Jolla, United States Pneumonia 70 Writer[14]

Steve Clark 8 January 1991 London, United Kingdom Alcoholism 30 Def Leppard guitarist[15]

Michael Clarke 18 December 1993 Treasure Island, United States Alcoholism 47 Musician[16]

Miika Tenkula 19 February 2009 Muhos, Finland Alcoholism 34 guitarist[17]

Brian Connolly 9 February 1997 Slough, United Kingdom Renal failure 52 Singer[18]

Peter Cook 9 January 1995 London, United Kingdom Gastro-intestinal haemorrhage 57 Comedian[19]

Michael Elphick 7 September 2002 London, United Kingdom Alcoholism 55 Actor[20]

W. C. Fields 25 December 1946 Pasadena, United States Alcoholism 66 Actor[21]

F. Scott Fitzgerald 21 December 1940 Hollywood, United States Heart attack 44 Writer[22]

Errol Flynn 14 October 1959 Vancouver, Canada Heart attack 50 Actor[23]

Garrincha 20 Jan 1983 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Alcoholism 49 Soccer player[24]

Alexander Godunov 18 May 1995 Hollywood, United States Alcoholism 45 Dancer/actor[25]

Patrick Hamilton 23 September 1962 Sheringham, United Kingdom Cirrhosis 58 Writer[26]

William Rowan Hamilton 2 September 1865 Ireland Gout 60 Mathematician[27]

Lorenz Hart 22 November 1943 New York City, United States Alcoholism 48 Lyricist[28]

Ira Hayes 23 January 1955 Arizona, United States Exposure 32 War hero[29]

Ian Hendry 24 December 1984 London, United Kngdom Stomach haemorrhage 53 Actor

O. Henry 5 June 1910 New York, United States Cirrhosis 47 Writer[30]

William Holden 12 November 1981 Santa Monica, United States Alcoholism 63 Actor

Billie Holiday 17 July 1959 New York City, United States Alcoholism 44 Singer[31]

Naftali Herz Imber 8 October 1909 New York, United States Alcoholism 53 Poet[32]

Yootha Joyce 24 August 1980 London, England Alcoholism 53 Actress[33]

Phil Katz 14 April 2000 Wisconsin, United States Alcoholism 37 Computer programmer[34]

Jack Kerouac 21 October 1969 Tampa Bay, United States Alcoholism 47 Writer[35]

Veronica Lake 7 July 1973 Vermont, United States Acute hepatitis 50 Actress[36]

Kevin Lloyd 2 May 1998 Staffordshire, United Kingdom Alcoholism 49 Actor[37]

Mickey Mantle 13 August 1995 Dallas, United States Liver cancer 63 New York Yankees center fielder[38]

Joseph McCarthy 2 May 1957 Maryland, United States Acute hepatitis 48 Politician[39]

Ron "Pigpen" McKernan 8 March 1973 Corte Madera, United States Gastrointestinal haemorrhage 27 Musician[40]

Clyde McPhatter 13 June 1972 The Bronx, United States Heart attack 39 R&B singer[41]

Grace Metalious 25 February 1964 Boston, United States Cirrhosis 39 Writer[42]

Jim Morrison 3 July 1971 Paris, France Alcoholism 27 Musician, Poet

Modest Mussorgsky 28 March 1881 Saint Petersburg, Russia Alcoholism 42 Composer[43]

Barbara Payton 8 May 1967 San Diego, United States Liver failure 39 Actress[44]

Franklin Pierce 8 October 1869 Concord, United States Edema 64 U.S. President[45]

Oliver Reed 2 May 1999 Malta Alcoholism 61 Actor[46]

Bon Scott 19 February 1980 Dulwich, United Kingdom Alcohol poisoning 33 AC/DC singer[47]

Ramses Shaffy 1 December 2009 Dr. Sarphatihouse, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Esophageal Cancer 76 Singer, Actor

Jean Stafford 26 March 1979 White Plains, United States Cardiac arrest 63 Writer[48]

Dylan Thomas 9 November 1953 New York, United States Alcoholism 39 Writer[49]

James Thurber 2 November 1961 New York, United States Stroke 66 Cartoonist and writer[50]

Keith Whitley 9 May 1989 Nashville, United States Alcohol poisoning 33 Country music singer[51]

Hank Williams 1 January 1953 Oak Hill, United States Acute ventricular dilation 29 Musician[52]

David Woodley 4 May 2003 Shreveport, United States Liver disease 44 NFL quarterback[53]

Lester Young 15 March 1959 New York, United States Heart failure 49 Musician[54]

Townes Van Zandt 1 January 1997 Texas, United States Heart attack 52 Musician[55]

seun
01-20-2010, 05:38 PM
I drink regularly. I don't act like a dickhead when I do. I don't start fights or puke in the street or get aggressive. I don't drink because I'm a writer. I drink because I like it.

And because it impresses girls.

brainstorm77
01-20-2010, 05:41 PM
I've never associated drinking with writing nor have people ever made remarks to me regarding the same.

LuckyH
01-20-2010, 05:42 PM
It hasnít been specifically mentioned, but we have those irrefutable statistics which show that six out of the last seven American Nobel prize winners for literature were alcoholics. A high percentage of our best journalists are drunks, and a high percentage of all kinds of artists and performers are addicted to drugs.

None of them considered whether their destructive behaviour set a bad example for others, especially vulnerable young people. The Beatles wrote Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and the Rolling Stones couldnít perform without being stoned. An impossibly high number of our artistic community canít exist without stimulants.

But theses people are geniuses; I doubt if any of us are, and if youíre not a genius, I doubt whether any amount of mind-altering substances will turn you into one.

If youíre an alcoholic or drug addict, you need treatment, and you canít write your way out of it.

But if youíre writing to somehow impose a set of (admirable) ethics on your reader, nobody will want to read what youíve written.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 05:43 PM
I need a drink to stop me killing people.

aruna
01-20-2010, 05:57 PM
And because it impresses girls.

What kind of girls does it impress? Little one, maybe.




But theses people are geniuses; I doubt if any of us are, and if you’re not a genius, I doubt whether any amount of mind-altering substances will turn you into one.
.


See my post (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4514015&postcount=28) above.

Being a genius is not the reason they are alcoholics. They are alcoholics because dealing with fame/genius needs an incredible amount of emotional maturity, and many people cannot handle it. Dependence on some substance or the other is a common result.


The thought "I am a GENIUS!" can lead to some very serious mental problems. Those who remain humble and aware of their humanity; of the fact that they did nothing to make that genius, goes a long way towards keeping a person independent of substances, and sane.

gothicangel
01-20-2010, 06:03 PM
[QUOTE=LuckyH;4514368]The Beatles wrote Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and the Rolling Stones couldnít perform without being stoned. An impossibly high number of our artistic community canít exist without stimulants.

But theses people are geniuses.QUOTE]

Is this the measure of a genius? Being able to write a popular song? Out Hemingway, Hemingway? To me a concert pianist might seem not to be mortal in his talent, but that is not genius.

Now the scientists responsible for unraveling the human genome or realising that mould growing on cheese would be able to cure fatal bacterial infections [penicillin.] Genius is breaking perceived theories and boundaries.

When scientists develop a cure for cancer, I'll laud them as geni. Just don't expect me to say the same about artists.

Anyway I'm with Neurofizz. Anyone claiming genius, is no doubt not one.

aruna
01-20-2010, 06:15 PM
[QUOTE=LuckyH;4514368]The Beatles wrote Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and the Rolling Stones couldn’t perform without being stoned. An impossibly high number of our artistic community can’t exist without stimulants.

But theses people are geniuses.QUOTE]


When scientists develop a cure for cancer, I'll laud them as geni. Just don't expect me to say the same about artists.

Anyway I'm with Neurofizz. Anyone claiming genius, is no doubt not one.


I agree. There are very few artists whom I would classify as genii. Among musicians, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and a few others. Among writers, only Shakespeare. I prefer to set the bar high!

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 06:17 PM
So if an acknowledged genius suddenly decided to agree that's what they were, their 'arrogance' would render them somehow...less of a genius?

No. A genius is a genius is a genius.

Lynch me for this if you want, but Lennon and McCartney? Don't make me laugh. I'd pay good money not to listen to that shite ever again.

Imagine - a song about lack of materialism, written by a man who lived in a luxurious New York apartment. Yeah, sure, John. Keep smoking it.

aruna
01-20-2010, 06:24 PM
So if an acknowledged genius suddenly decided to agree that's what they were, their 'arrogance' would render them somehow...less of a genius?



No, of course not. That's not what I said.
The genius is still there. But the madness/alcoholism/drug addiction did not happen BECAUSE they;re a genius; it happened because they could not deal with the dichotomy: that incredible gift they have, and the fact that in spite of that gift, they are still only a human being. Having that special gift does not make them a god.

That's why I don't like to say someone "is" a genius; I prefer to qualify that special something. So, a musical genius. A scientific genius. etc etc. Genius is something they HAVE, not what they ARE.

As people, as humans, they are the same as everyone else. They are not superior.
And it is perfectly possible to be a genius and be sane, drug free, etc.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 06:26 PM
I aim to be an eccentric.

That, I believe, is well within my power.

NeuroFizz
01-20-2010, 06:32 PM
So if an acknowledged genius suddenly decided to agree that's what they were, their 'arrogance' would render them somehow...less of a genius?

No. A genius is a genius is a genius.

Lynch me for this if you want, but Lennon and McCartney? Don't make me laugh. I'd pay good money not to listen to that shite ever again.

Imagine - a song about lack of materialism, written by a man who lived in a luxurious New York apartment. Yeah, sure, John. Keep smoking it.
My point is that genius should never be self-appointed or self-annointed. It has to be a designation by peers and/or the general population. And in very few cases (if ever) will that designation be by unanimous proclamation.

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 06:44 PM
I've always found drinking alone kind of sad. When I drink, I do it socially, so the last thing I'm doing is hunkering down in my pit of a basement office alone and writing. Why waste a good buzz on writing what will ultimately probably be a load of misspelled shite? I'd rather be dancing, chatting, eating, or sexing.

aruna
01-20-2010, 07:03 PM
My point is that genius should never be self-appointed or self-annointed. It has to be a designation by peers and/or the general population. And in very few cases (if ever) will that designation be by unanimous proclamation.

Agreed -- sort of. IMO it needs to pass the test of time, and when not by unanimous proclamation, at least by some kind of scientific standard, not according to taste or fashion or trend. You might not like listening to Mozart, but you can't deny there's something almost superhuman in the complexity of his work, and the sheer inexplicability of it, the how. The movie Amadeus shows this up clearly.

seun
01-20-2010, 07:34 PM
What kind of girls does it impress? Little one, maybe.


'Twas a joke.

aruna
01-20-2010, 07:36 PM
Just found an excellent article on alcohol and writing, and it's true... there's truth behind the myth.

http://www.unhooked.com/sep/writers.htm

Jamesaritchie
01-20-2010, 07:36 PM
Alcohol and writing is no different than alcohol and car mechanics, or alcohol and lawyerism.

Except for the fact that writers think they have an excuse. And that's all it ever is. Just a piss poor excuse.

I see nothing wrong with a drink now and then, but there's nothing more obxoxious than a drunk, and nothing dumber than a drunk who doesn't know how obnoxious he is, or even that he is a drunk.

And despite the fact that one drink per day is good for your heart, it's bad for pretty much every other part of the body, and darned few people who drink settle for the one per day routine.

But as I said, there's nothing wrong with a drink now and then. I like a shot of Irish in my own coffee once or twice a month. But I don't want to hear nonsesne about how it's needed for creativity, or anything else. It isn't.

aruna
01-20-2010, 07:37 PM
'Twas a joke.


You must learn to use smilies!

Rarri
01-20-2010, 07:47 PM
Just found an excellent article on alcohol and writing, and it's true... there's truth behind the myth.

http://www.unhooked.com/sep/writers.htm

This strikes me as being similar to the correlations people make concerning creatives types and suicide (and, in turn, mental illness). ...And now i feel a complete idiot for typing that before reading the whole article.

Perhaps alcoholism is prominent within writing because it's one of the few professions where an alcoholic can be successful? I don't know, it's a difficult one to make a call on, except to say that i've yet to see alcohol promoted with regard to writing.

Then again, i do find the mental illness part of it all very, very interesting given my own family. Thank you for posting the article Aruna. :)

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 07:50 PM
Anyone seen the film Barfly?

jilly61
01-20-2010, 08:08 PM
I drink regularly. I don't act like a dickhead when I do. I don't start fights or puke in the street or get aggressive. I don't drink because I'm a writer. I drink because I like it.

And because it impresses girls.

Me too. Though I'm not so bothered about impressing the girls!

kuwisdelu
01-20-2010, 08:18 PM
I find the amount of substances I've ingested at any given time has no long-term correlation with my writing, really. I can write well under the influence and out from under it.

Sometimes if I hit a wall and can't seem to get through a scene, I'll have something and that'll break that barrier and I can write it. And yes, the quality is exactly the same as what I write sober.

Other times, I won't be able to write something at all and I'll have something and nothing happens.

Hmm.

Now that I think about it, I actually do see something of a pattern.

If I know the scene I want to write but haven't been able to get anywhere on it sober, quite often a little inebriation helps. If I'm just plain blocked and don't even know what to write in the first place, alcohol won't help a damn bit.

Hmm.

aruna
01-20-2010, 08:32 PM
Then again, i do find the mental illness part of it all very, very interesting given my own family. Thank you for posting the article Aruna. :)

My pleasure!
For me the most significant point made in the article was that writing is a profession where one is alone for long periods. Alone: that means facing yourself, being alone with yourself. Facing whatever misery is there, and having to deal with it. And, to correlate with what I surmised previsouly: to see that in spite of your great gift, in spite of the glory the world showers on you, inside there is no glory, only the fairly mudane struggles of an ordinary human being.

IMO it all comes down to self-knowledge and emotional stability.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
01-20-2010, 08:50 PM
I guess it comes down to where you are. I have never experienced the insinuation that I'm an alcoholic when I tell people I write. Actually people seem kind of shocked that I don't drink period, but that's neither here nor there. My writing group will occassionally want to meet at a place where alcohol is served but very few of us actually drink. Those who do drink tend to only have a drink or two. Usually we meet at a coffee house, where the light is brighter and free wi-fi.

HighDesertBrat
01-20-2010, 09:40 PM
I aim to be an eccentric.

That, I believe, is well within my power.

I'm just weird, but I'm saving up to be an eccentric.

Libbie
01-20-2010, 09:57 PM
I've known a number of drug addicts and I can see from their behaviour it's rotted their brain. I'd never take drugs based on meeting them... but if I hadn't been allowed to see what it did to people, maybe I would have tried.

True.

I have a hard time understanding why anybody would experiment with drugs, until I find out they've never seen what they can do to a person who becomes addicted. Yowch.

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 10:06 PM
So according to you guys, someone who recognizes they're a genius is a moron. Interesting.

The Lonely One
01-20-2010, 10:14 PM
I was afraid this thread would go down the tubes quickly when I dozed off last evening, but you guys have kept it pretty intelligent and civil. Thanks for that.

I think what really gets me nervous about telling new writers alcohol is a creative aid is, as someone earlier mentioned, alcohol seems to be, in my experience, a social drug in moderation. I've always held the belief of myself (others may be different) that when I'm drinking alone, it's a problem. And since writing is a solitary task, and a constant task, those two traits combined with alcohol seem to concoct a formula for addiction.

I'm not sure where I stand on the genius argument, other than I think being humble is as useful a trait as being a genius. Being a genius will propel you to great heights in whatever path you choose, but one shouldn't underestimate how being humble might help you karmatically...

Acknowledging one's self as a genius is different than gloating, though. Gloating is the sign of a pompous ass, and usually someone less intelligent than they say they are, in my experience.

Libbie
01-20-2010, 10:15 PM
So according to you guys, someone who recognizes they're a genius is a moron. Interesting.

What? Where'd that strawman come from?

(Also, I would like to point out to TLO that I don't believe in karma, so I think this frees me up to gloat over my geniosity without fear of cosmic comeuppance. ;) )

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 10:19 PM
So according to you guys, someone who recognizes they're a genius is a moron. Interesting.
Uh, no. I'm pretty sure Albert Einstein recognized his own genius and no one calls him a moron (just one example; no doubt there are a thousand others).

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 10:21 PM
I've never seen someone jump up and down about being a genius in my life, but I don't hang out with douche bags. A lot of them, that's all they have, so they need to jump up and down about it.

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 10:24 PM
I don't know what a strawman is, so I can't say, but back a page, it was said that anyone who says they're a genius is certainly not.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 10:25 PM
Remember to quote, then Wayne, otherwise it looks like you're pissed at any random who wanders through the thread. ;)

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 10:26 PM
I've never seen someone jump up and down about being a genius in my life, but I don't hang out with douche bags. A lot of them, that's all they have, so they need to jump up and down about it.
If a person is truly a genius, jumping up and down about it doesn't change that fact any more than not jumping up and down about it.

NeuroFizz
01-20-2010, 10:27 PM
So according to you guys, someone who recognizes they're a genius is a moron. Interesting.
No one made that jump here. My point is that anyone who self-proclaims genius is overstepping reasonable bounds since genius is measured by one's accompishments, and self-evaluation of those accomplishments is biased by it's very nature. The label of genius should be applied by others who are familiar with the persons's work in the context of the overall body of work in that field.

And we have had people show up here at AW and among their first posts tell us all, in plain words, that they are in the genius category. They usually don't last long around here because this place is filled with really bright and capable people who not only recognize bullshit, but also carefully step around it.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 10:28 PM
If a person is truly a genius, jumping up and down about it doesn't change that fact any more than not jumping up and down about it.Exactly. Jumping up and down about it won't make them not a genius either. Might piss a few people off, but if I were a genius I wouldn't give a damn about that.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
01-20-2010, 10:29 PM
I think there's a big difference between someone who acknowledges a title and someone who announces it. Those who acknowledge it I find have rarely ever given themselves that title, and don't go around bragging about it. Those who announce it gave themselves that title usually out of arrogance and won't shut up about it. I'd more likely believe the one who doesn't brag about it as opposed to the one who does.

EDIT: Dammit, you people gotta stop typing so fast :P

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 10:31 PM
[QUOTE=LuckyH;4514368]

Anyway I'm with Neurofizz. Anyone claiming genius, is no doubt not one.
How's this?

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 10:33 PM
How's this?
A bit of flawed logic, by my reckoning.

benbradley
01-20-2010, 10:40 PM
Just found an excellent article on alcohol and writing, and it's true... there's truth behind the myth.

http://www.unhooked.com/sep/writers.htm
Interesting website there, unhooked.com ...

http://www.unhooked.com/keepers/kprbenb1.htm

NeuroFizz
01-20-2010, 10:48 PM
Anyway I'm with Neurofizz. Anyone claiming genius, is no doubt not one


How's this?
The top one is an extrapolation of my words--I wouldn't go that far. But anyone claiming genius should first have significant backing in that evaluation from experts in the field. It can be controversial, but there should be someone other than the self-appointed genius shouting that genius to the world (excluding his/her mother). If there is backing, I don't care if they whisper it or shout it.

gothicangel
01-20-2010, 11:08 PM
Don't twist words Wayne. The word certain was never used.

In my experience is that those who claim genius are actually just pretty average. Now the ones who think of themselves as pretty average are usually mind-blowing.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 11:11 PM
It's not much of a twist to go from 'no doubt' to 'certain'.

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 11:13 PM
I think people hide their genius, because of the assumption that they're boasting the second they acknowledge it.

When I was a kid they called me Mr. Know it all, because I knew the answer to any question you asked me. I don't know how I knew, I just did.

I learned the piano and the saxophone in a few hours.

When my saxophone teacher called me a genius, or when Mensa called my parents to try and interview me, it was fine, and I was a genius. The second I said it: "Here comes Mr. Know it all the douche"

When someone makes a claim, I don't tell them they're wrong, I tell them to prove it. Just in case they're right.

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 11:14 PM
[QUOTE=LuckyH;4514368]The Beatles wrote Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and the Rolling Stones couldnít perform without being stoned. An impossibly high number of our artistic community canít exist without stimulants.

But theses people are geniuses.QUOTE]

Is this the measure of a genius? Being able to write a popular song? Out Hemingway, Hemingway? To me a concert pianist might seem not to be mortal in his talent, but that is not genius.

Now the scientists responsible for unraveling the human genome or realising that mould growing on cheese would be able to cure fatal bacterial infections [penicillin.] Genius is breaking perceived theories and boundaries.

When scientists develop a cure for cancer, I'll laud them as geni. Just don't expect me to say the same about artists.

Anyway I'm with Neurofizz. Anyone claiming genius, is no doubt not one.


Don't twist words Wayne. The word certain was never used.

In my experience is that those who claim genius are actually just pretty average. Now the ones who think of themselves as pretty average are usually mind-blowing.
I'm sorry, you said NO Doubt. There's a huge difference.

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 11:23 PM
I completely disagree that artists can't be in the genius category. It might be a matter of opinion, but I believe many, many artists through the years have been geniuses (or genii). Shakespeare (or whomever wrote those plays and sonnets), Dickens, Hitchcock, Chaplin, Mozart, Da Vinci...anyone can feel free to add to this list.

Ken
01-20-2010, 11:24 PM
... don't know anything about genius as I've never met one who had it, or at least that I knew about. I'm guessing though that it is like many other qualities or possessions a person may come to have like money or good looks.

People who are borderline attractive are always the ones, if any, who go about parading their looks and seeking confirmation of the fact and declaring how attractive they are in one way or another, whereas people who are really gorgeous/handsome rarely brag, not because they aren't aware that they are so but because they know it to be so and don't need any outside confirmation of the fact. The same is so of those possessing genius, I'm guessing, and those who'd like to think so.

Just my 2 cents. Take it or, more wisely, leave it. (ps Just using looks as way of example. Looks ain't worth much in my book. It's what's inside a person that matters, most.)

Shadow_Ferret
01-20-2010, 11:26 PM
I think what really gets me nervous about telling new writers alcohol is a creative aid is, as someone earlier mentioned, alcohol seems to be, in my experience, a social drug in moderation.

Who is telling new writers to imbibe as a creative aid? I've been in many of the newbie threads, I don't recall anyone giving the advice that to succeed one needs to drink.

Most of us JOKE about drinking and writing, sure. But I don't believe any of us advocate doing it to become successful.

I drink.

I write.

Sometimes I do them together, if I get hit with sudden inspiration while drinking, I'll write it down. But I don't NEED to drink to write.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 11:28 PM
This thread makes me want to get shit-faced and write up a storm just to show you all it can be done.

But I can't afford a hangover - early start in the morning. So you'll just have to wait.

stormie
01-20-2010, 11:29 PM
^ I agree with what Ken says. ^ (Being lazy as to add my two cents.)

Shadow_Ferret
01-20-2010, 11:31 PM
Isn't genius just a score on an I.Q. test?

gothicangel
01-20-2010, 11:32 PM
There is a huge difference, you misquoted me.

I was a know it all as a kid too. I was pushed ahead at school. My first poem was published in an adult anthology when I was 13. My first articles where published at 17. I just don't push it people's faces.

Yes I'm smart, but no-one actually gives a s*** except me. If someone comments on it I brush it off as 'it's just a set of skills I've been trained to do', which it is.

Nothing more. There are people who like to use the word 'genius' to s*** on people they consider inferior to themselves.

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 11:32 PM
Isn't genius just a score on an I.Q. test?
IQ is the score, genius is a category base on that score, but I think the term "genius" applies to some people regardless of a set of test scores.

gothicangel
01-20-2010, 11:35 PM
Isn't genius just a score on an I.Q. test?

I love you! Spot on.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 11:36 PM
There is a huge difference, you misquoted me.

I was a know it all as a kid too. I was pushed ahead at school. My first poem was published in an adult anthology when I was 13. My first articles where published at 17. I just don't push it people's faces.

Yes I'm smart, but no-one actually gives a s*** except me. If someone comments on it I brush it off as 'it's just a set of skills I've been trained to do', which it is.

Nothing more. There are people who like to use the word 'genius' to s*** on people they consider inferior to themselves.I feel the same way about those who are falsely modest.

No. Way. Will I ever brush off my talents as 'just' a set of skills I've been trained in. That would dismiss all the work I've put in to be as good as I am.

If that makes me arrogant, so be it. I'm arrogant. I prefer to call it realistic.

And 'admitting' to one's own strengths is not the same as shitting on other people. What I'm good at takes nothing away from you unless you let it. This is not a zero-sum game. Person A's genius takes nothing away from Person B's.

No I'm not claiming to be a genius. Far from it. Could I be one day? Hell yeah. If I put the work in. We all have genius potential. (And my IQ was 147 at my last test, if that's important).

There are always those who say it's boastful to be honest about your successes. To be honest, I don't care. There are enough people in this world ready to talk others down; I'm not going to be a part of that by dimissing how far I've come.

gothicangel
01-20-2010, 11:38 PM
IQ is the score, genius is a category base on that score, but I think the term "genius" applies to some people regardless of a set of test scores.

Yes.

I think 'genius' is no good on its own. It has to be backed up with years of f***ing hard work too.

aruna
01-20-2010, 11:39 PM
This thread makes me want to get shit-faced and write up a storm just to show you all it can be done.

.

Oh, no need, SP, we know it can be done (write well when drunk). That article I posted confirmed it.

We just want to know if it's a requirement.

And I say no way.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 11:40 PM
Damn it, woman. You spoil my fun!

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 11:41 PM
I can't say I've ever seen someone boast about their intelligence. It's bad manners.

As far as SP's post.,. I think I'm a good writer with the potential to be great. Time will tell, but until then, you don't have to take my word for it.

But don't bet against me.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 11:43 PM
I love Wayne's balls.

You know what I mean.

And I'm not joking. I'm really not. I LOVE HIS ATTITUDE. We need more people like him.

I've worked too hard, for too long, to get where I am, to hold back for fear of offending people who want to do what I do - and they could, if they'd only concentrate on themselves instead of me.

That is all.

(Wayne, mind if I tag along)? :D

Shadow_Ferret
01-20-2010, 11:44 PM
IQ is the score, genius is a category base on that score, but I think the term "genius" applies to some people regardless of a set of test scores.

I think genius is MISapplied to too many people simply because someone likes their music or their book or whatever.

gothicangel
01-20-2010, 11:44 PM
And 'admitting' to one's own strengths is not the same as shitting on other people. What I'm good at takes nothing away from you unless you let it. This is not a zero-sum game. Person A's genius takes nothing away from Person B's.
.

I agree! Unfortunately [especially in academia] there are people all too ready to look down their noses at others.

scarletpeaches
01-20-2010, 11:44 PM
See, I'd love to stay and be a bitch but you spoiled it by agreeing with me. Bah!

Anyway, must dash out to the shops. Back soon. ;)

CaroGirl
01-20-2010, 11:53 PM
I think genius is MISapplied to too many people simply because someone likes their music or their book or whatever.
Probably.

Often it takes the test of time to prove or disprove a person's inherent genius.

Wayne K
01-20-2010, 11:59 PM
Since someone mentioned the Rolling Stones, you can call Mick Jagger a genius. A financial genius. Same goes for Madonna. She made herself the richest woman in the world investing her own money.

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 12:05 AM
She's the richest woman in the world? Has anyone notified Oprah?

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 12:06 AM
That was before Oprah. She passed Queen Mum in the early 90's.

kuwisdelu
01-21-2010, 12:08 AM
True.

I have a hard time understanding why anybody would experiment with drugs, until I find out they've never seen what they can do to a person who becomes addicted. Yowch.

Do you understand why someone would climb a mountain despite fully knowing how dangerous it is?

Seriously, not everyone who experiments with drugs becomes an addict.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 12:09 AM
Christy Walton (Forbes 400)
Net Worth: $15.7 billion
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart inheritance
Inherited

They say this woman is the richest, but online info stinks, so don't quote me.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 12:12 AM
I don't understand why people take drugs that make you sick and die, but hey, the doctor knows best right?

CaroGirl
01-21-2010, 12:13 AM
Christy Walton (Forbes 400)
Net Worth: $15.7 billion
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart inheritance
Inherited

They say this woman is the richest, but online info stinks, so don't quote me.
A search got me the same information. Interestingly, neither JK Rowling nor Oprah are currently on the top-20 world's richest women list.

ishtar'sgate
01-21-2010, 12:14 AM
that is this:

I don't think it's cool when writers talk about how drinking allows them to write, and how the association of alcoholism and writing is a natural one.

Wouldn't work for me anyway. I'd just fall asleep and wouldn't get anything written.:D

aruna
01-21-2010, 12:19 AM
Damn it, woman. You spoil my fun!

Nyah, nyah, nyah. ;)

Anyway. I believe that genius is not a kind of rarified diamond only a few can ever reach, much less aspire to.

The very first writing book I ever read was Dorothea Brande's Becoming a Writer. She claims that genius is in all of us; we only have to discover it.

Up to that point I never would have dared to believe I could write a whole. novel. But I believed, and I tried, and kept trying, and a few years later produced OMA.

I still believe in that inherent genius... I believe we all have that possibility, and far from the Freudian vision of neurosis as a veritable hotbed, or incubator, for creativity I think it's the oposite: creativity is the highest and noblest and truest aspect of who we really are.

And that's why I believe that the ego should stay out of it, and not take the credit. Because the ego is not who we really are.

And, SP: I too don't like false modesty. But natural modecty is a beautiful thing, especially when accompanied by genuine greatness.

I am not good at describing this phenomenon. I only know that it's true.

And that drunkenness and/or madness are not an ingredient of creativity and artistic genius, whatever the field.

NeuroFizz
01-21-2010, 12:48 AM
There is a huge difference between the potential for genius and achievements that show a person's genius. The tough thing is we will all have a very different definition of genius, and there will be no concensus on that. For some, it WILL be an IQ score. For others, it will come from what individuals of authority and expertise tell them or have told them. My problem with it all is I want to see the genius, be able to critically compare it to the accomplishments of others in the field. I'm probably the best example. I zoomed through school--even skipped third grade. I have the IQ scores. I have accomplishments and awards in a couple of fields. But in my primary field (biology and specifically neurobiology), I would rank myself in the solid average category of researchers at the Research I University level (universities that have a primary emphasis on research). This is at the top of the list of all universities and colleges (some of which are primarily teaching institutions), but I am no where near the cream of researchers who I see as exhibiting genius-type activities. No matter what I accomplish for the rest of my career I will never be on the same plane as the few individuals I place on that summit. Yet, by my own evaluation, I've had one hell of a career (and it's still going).

And genius has nothing to do with balls (as in gumption) unless those balls are used to truely move the chosen field to new directions or new heights. Until someone applies their genius potential to do that, it might be better to not go around yelling to the world because, "Hey, I have genius potential" is likely to lower eyebrows, not raise them.

Mensa, and groups like them, acknowledge genius potential in my mind. Membership does nothing at all to establish genius. That title always has to be earned through accomplishment, not through test scores or special memberships (no matter how selective), and certainly not through self-evaluation.

Anyone can say, "I am a genius." I say, show me (show the world). I can parade a list of accomplishments by you that may seem impressive, but in the context of my chosen field, they fall way short of any genius rating.

Polenth
01-21-2010, 12:51 AM
I've scored between 110 and 149 on standardised IQ tests. So I suppose that means some days I can claim to be a genius and other days I can't. :)

LuckyH
01-21-2010, 01:03 AM
Iím surprised at the level of indignation against writers who drink, on a writing forum, and I loved the subsequent irreverent comments.

This is a Western forum, and apart from the few religions on this side of the world which advocate abstention, the Eastern (dry) world is just as capable of producing works of writing genius.

Iím a pebble on the beach, with little to report, just a normal writer, but, being a writer, I want to say the following:

Two years ago, I met with my editor, a professional, a published author who had edited a major UK newspaper for many years.

We had a lovely day, and discussed Sartre and Martina Cole, and he drank a few bottles of red wine and I enjoyed many single malts. Late in the day, he fell down, totally pissed, and I tried to help him, but I was pissed as a parrot too.

(As for the person who described John Lennonís ĎImagineí as shite, throw your pen away, youíre not with it).

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 01:05 AM
(As for the person who described John Lennonís ĎImagineí as shite, throw your pen away, youíre not with it).That was me, and I stand by my comment. It's hero-worshipped for no good reason. It's a fucking dirge and I'd rather listen to the screams of terrified children being torn limb from limb by rabid dogs than that song.

benbradley
01-21-2010, 01:06 AM
True.

I have a hard time understanding why anybody would experiment with drugs, until I find out they've never seen what they can do to a person who becomes addicted. Yowch.
I can see why. Too often people don't feel good about themselves or their lives for various reasons, most often a bad home/family situation. If they have ready access to alcohol and/or drugs (which usually first happens around high school age), they may try it regardless of knowledge of what may happen long-term. Others tell them "it makes you feel good," and during painful times in life most any mind-altering experience will be felt as an improvement, so they try it and find out it does help them mentally escape the pain. Even if they believe they absolutely WILL become addicted and die a horrible death from it, they may think "My life won't amount to much anyway, so what's the difference..."

Using mind-altering chemicals to relieve the pain of a hard life is hardly a new idea - a common party-justifying phrase comes from 1 Corinthians 15:33 (I knew it was from the Bible, but I had to google to find the exact verse).

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 01:10 AM
Here's a novel idea - GETTING STONED IS FUN.

Let's not pretend everyone becomes a junkie or an alcoholic. You don't have to have a difficult home life to like being drunk. Sometimes people just...do it.

benbradley
01-21-2010, 01:14 AM
That was me, and I stand by my comment. It's hero-worshipped for no good reason.
The song Imagine advocates several things (Godlessness and socialism) that are repugnant to many people, and are embraced by many other people. It's not surprising it's a polarizing song. (trying not to get political...)

It's a fucking dirge and I'd rather listen to the screams of terrified children being torn limb from limb by rabid dogs than that song.
Though it appears Scarletpeaches' objection to it has nothing to do with the ideas the song advocates...

Watch out - I can make EVERYONE cringe with just one word - Yoko.

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 01:16 AM
*shudder*

HighDesertBrat
01-21-2010, 01:34 AM
Watch out - I can make EVERYONE cringe with just one word - Yoko.

All right, even a writer's site should have some sort of limits on the kinds of four-letter words used. Go wash your fingers with soap.

Slushie
01-21-2010, 01:45 AM
Here's a novel idea - GETTING STONED IS FUN.

Let's not pretend everyone becomes a junkie or an alcoholic. You don't have to have a difficult home life to like being drunk. Sometimes people just...do it.

THANK YOU!SP

Good god, there's paint all over the floor. Who's going to clean this up!? Not me. I'm way, way too busy getting high so I can cope with all these horrible things that happen to me all the time.

Just because a few people use drugs as escapism doesn't mean everybody does. Fuck, it doesn't even mean that most people do. Drug use (yes, kids, this includes alcohol) is a case by case basis. Please treat is as such. kthanx.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 01:59 AM
There is a huge difference between the potential for genius and achievements that show a person's genius. The tough thing is we will all have a very different definition of genius, and there will be no concensus on that. For some, it WILL be an IQ score. For others, it will come from what individuals of authority and expertise tell them or have told them. My problem with it all is I want to see the genius, be able to critically compare it to the accomplishments of others in the field. I'm probably the best example. I zoomed through school--even skipped third grade. I have the IQ scores. I have accomplishments and awards in a couple of fields. But in my primary field (biology and specifically neurobiology), I would rank myself in the solid average category of researchers at the Research I University level (universities that have a primary emphasis on research). This is at the top of the list of all universities and colleges (some of which are primarily teaching institutions), but I am no where near the cream of researchers who I see as exhibiting genius-type activities. No matter what I accomplish for the rest of my career I will never be on the same plane as the few individuals I place on that summit. Yet, by my own evaluation, I've had one hell of a career (and it's still going).

And genius has nothing to do with balls (as in gumption) unless those balls are used to truely move the chosen field to new directions or new heights. Until someone applies their genius potential to do that, it might be better to not go around yelling to the world because, "Hey, I have genius potential" is likely to lower eyebrows, not raise them.

Mensa, and groups like them, acknowledge genius potential in my mind. Membership does nothing at all to establish genius. That title always has to be earned through accomplishment, not through test scores or special memberships (no matter how selective), and certainly not through self-evaluation.

Anyone can say, "I am a genius." I say, show me (show the world). I can parade a list of accomplishments by you that may seem impressive, but in the context of my chosen field, they fall way short of any genius rating.
I didn't say I have the potential to be a genius. I am one. No potential involved.

I said I think I have the potential to be a great writer. And that's because I do.

I didn't say it to impress a bunch of people on a message board. So let the eyebrow lowerers lower away. They're usually the ones who silently think they're smarter than everyone, and they usually want to see you fail.

I love the motivation it gives me to prove them wrong.

As I said, I don't know if any of it will show up in my writing. But don't bet against me.

NeuroFizz
01-21-2010, 02:00 AM
NOTE: the following has nothing to do with Wayne's post above

I like beer. I like to write. Sometimes I write while I drink beer. Sometimes I don't. The correlation is weak. I have also been known to write after an evening of sex. I don't know if that writing was any better than the writing without sex. The sample size isn't large enough. All of this doesn't make me a bad person. Nor does it make me a better (or worse) writer. I think we should all get up and do some writing after sex. That way, maybe we could change the stereotype from drinking, crazy writers to sexy writers. We just might be a happier lot as well.

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 02:01 AM
How about beer during sex? How does that affect your perf- uh, maybe not. I should take it to PM. :e2brows:

Slushie
01-21-2010, 02:03 AM
. . .but I'm glad cause they feed me the fuel that I need for the fire to burn. . .

NeuroFizz
01-21-2010, 02:05 AM
I didn't say I have the potential to be a genius. I am one. No potential involved.

I said I think I have the potential to be a great writer. And that's because I do.

I didn't say it to impress a bunch of people on a message board. So let the eyebrow lowerers lower away. They're usually the ones who silently think they're smarter than everyone, and they usually want to see you fail.

I love the motivation it gives me to prove them wrong.

As I said, I don't know if any of it will show up in my writing. But don't bet against me.
I don't want you to fail (quite the opposite). I don't think I'm smarter than you are, and I have no interest in betting on such a thing as your publication success. I just have a very narrow definition of genius that is based on my personal experiences, and may well be much different than the definitions of others, both in its selectivity and in its criteria for achievement.

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 02:08 AM
Here's a novel idea - GETTING STONED IS FUN.


Yes. Sometimes people use it "recreationally." That means, they enjoy it every now and again. It makes them feel good. It doesn't mean that their lives are shite and they're moping around in a drug-addled haze. Many "recreational" drug users (this includes alcohol) hold normal jobs, some are Captains of Industry, some are rich, some are poor, some are in between.

Some people knit. Some people collect stamps. Some people bungee jump. Some people hunt. Some people do drugs. They are all hobbies.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 02:12 AM
I don't think that about you Richard. But there are people who are like that.

I don't care what people think of me anymore. But it bothers me when you say something like "I'm pretty good at this" and the douches come out to naysay and accuse you of being a braggart. Not just here, everywhere.

I can see if someone came into AW and started saying they're better than everyone, that's obnoxious.

I have to believe in myself to write. The only person I have to convince is myself, to achieve failure. I've done it more than once.

The Lonely One
01-21-2010, 02:53 AM
Look, just so everyone knows, no one is saying if you drink you're a drunk. Also, please note my differentiating drinking+writing alone, with the intent to utilize inebriation as an aid (in my opinion, crutch), and drinking in general, in company and in moderation. Without noting that distinction you're arguing against something I never said.

No one is saying writing+drinking CAN'T produce quality, uninhibited work, but I think the talented writer comes to a stage of their mind that they don't need the crutch to get through the writing day. I just don't think you're a caliber writer if you NEED alcohol to write, and actually I would bid you find help.

The Lonely One
01-21-2010, 03:00 AM
But again, all my opinion. Just so no one gets angry at old LO.

Slushie
01-21-2010, 03:04 AM
I'm furious with you, TLO. Absolutely furious! But. . . you do have Futurama in you're sig, so I guess that buys you a few points.

HighDesertBrat
01-21-2010, 03:06 AM
You keep using the word "crutch". It's a very subjective word. And you say you would find someone help. Just remember, for a true drinking problem, help only works if they seek it themselves.

djf881
01-21-2010, 03:16 AM
Consider this: Maybe if you were drinking more, you'd be published.

kuwisdelu
01-21-2010, 03:27 AM
Look, just so everyone knows, no one is saying if you drink you're a drunk. Also, please note my differentiating drinking+writing alone, with the intent to utilize inebriation as an aid (in my opinion, crutch), and drinking in general, in company and in moderation. Without noting that distinction you're arguing against something I never said.

No one is saying writing+drinking CAN'T produce quality, uninhibited work, but I think the talented writer comes to a stage of their mind that they don't need the crutch to get through the writing day. I just don't think you're a caliber writer if you NEED alcohol to write, and actually I would bid you find help.

I guess it depends how you define "crutch."

If every once in a while someone hits a wall and having a drink or partaking in some other substance does help you get back into the writing... if you do it every once in a while to help your writing... is that a crutch?

After all, a crutch is something you use when you're having difficulty walking. Not something you use because you're forgotten how to walk without one.

Rowan
01-21-2010, 03:59 AM
Yes. Sometimes people use it "recreationally." That means, they enjoy it every now and again. It makes them feel good. It doesn't mean that their lives are shite and they're moping around in a drug-addled haze. Many "recreational" drug users (this includes alcohol) hold normal jobs, some are Captains of Industry, some are rich, some are poor, some are in between.

Some people knit. Some people collect stamps. Some people bungee jump. Some people hunt. Some people do drugs. They are all hobbies.

Bolding is mine.

OMG. Doing drugs is a bloody hobby? I'm in the wrong thread.....:ROFL:

As for the OP: I drink wine on occasion, sometimes while I'm writing and most often after I'm done for the day. To be honest I've never really thought much about it. I've never head of this negative writer/alcoholism thing though. Interesting.

icerose
01-21-2010, 04:03 AM
Bolding is mine.

OMG. Doing drugs is a bloody hobby? I'm in the wrong thread.....:ROFL:

As for the OP: I drink wine on occasion, sometimes while I'm writing and most often after I'm done for the day. To be honest I've never really thought much about it. I've never head of this negative writer/alcoholism thing though. Interesting.

People do drink quite often to relax/have fun/let loose. Which could be applied to about any other hobby, so yeah, I'd agree with that statement, and remember, alcohol is a drug. A mind altering drug.

Rowan
01-21-2010, 04:08 AM
Oh I know what alcohol is (by definition) but I personally don't classify cocaine, heroin, crystal meth (etc.) in the same category. Sorry, that's my humble opinion and I'm not going to argue w/you about it. My definition of "hobby" is at odds w/yours and others. Enough said and no harm, no foul. To each their own..............

icerose
01-21-2010, 04:22 AM
Oh I know what alcohol is (by definition) but I personally don't classify cocaine, heroin, crystal meth (etc.) in the same category. Sorry, that's my humble opinion and I'm not going to argue w/you about it. My definition of "hobby" is at odds w/yours and others. Enough said and no harm, no foul. To each their own..............

I personally have never drank or done drugs of any kind outside of medical. Frankly I never saw the point.

My definition of a hobby is doing anything for fun/to relax/wind down/whatever that's outside of work.

Refinishing that desk, can be a hobby.

Writing can be a hobby if you don't take it to the next level.

Sports.

Going out to drink with your buddies every week, I consider that a hobby. A rather dangerous and stupid one imo but a hobby nonetheless.

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 04:30 AM
Sports are stupid and dangerous.

Rowan
01-21-2010, 04:31 AM
Posted by icerose: I personally have never drank or done drugs of any kind outside of medical. Frankly I never saw the point.

My definition of a hobby is doing anything for fun/to relax/wind down/whatever that's outside of work.

Refinishing that desk, can be a hobby.

Writing can be a hobby if you don't take it to the next level.

Sports.

Going out to drink with your buddies every week, I consider that a hobby. A rather dangerous and stupid one imo but a hobby nonetheless.
Like I said..................We'll have to agree to disagree re: how we define a 'hobby'. I call going out to drink/eat/hang with buddies socializing. Just because we don't see eye to eye doesn't make one of us right and the other wrong. I'm merely saying that I PERSONALLY don't view taking recreational drugs as a hobby. But once again, that is just my humble opinion. I don't care if anyone agrees with me (because I'm fine being alone on my little island :) ). Seriously.

Cheers! :)

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 04:38 AM
and drinking in general, in company and in moderation.

Now if I want to sit back and enjoy a beer or two while watching a movie by myself, why is that wrong?

icerose
01-21-2010, 04:41 AM
Sports are stupid and dangerous.

I have a particular dislike for alcohol because it stole some of my friends at a rather young age, and they weren't even the ones drinking it, rather it was the idiot behind the wheel who plowed them down. So as I said above, it's my opinion of alcohol.


Like I said..................We'll have to agree to disagree re: how we define a 'hobby'. I call going out to drink/eat/hang with buddies socializing. Just because we don't see eye to eye doesn't make one of us right and the other wrong. I'm merely saying that I PERSONALLY don't view taking recreational drugs as a hobby. But once again, that is just my humble opinion. I don't care if anyone agrees with me (because I'm fine being alone on my little island :) ). Seriously.

Cheers! :)

No qualms there, I was merely putting my definition out there. Perhaps I should have said part of a larger hobby. I look at clubbing and socializing as part of that hobby. It's something people do on a regular basis for fun. Much like golfing.

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 04:43 AM
And don't forget brewing beer. Hobby. Making wine. Hobby. Growing pot. Hobby.

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 04:46 AM
I have a particular dislike for alcohol because it stole some of my friends at a rather young age, and they weren't even the ones drinking it, rather it was the idiot behind the wheel who plowed them down. So as I said above, it's my opinion of alcohol.Any sport can kill you if you're irresponsible enough.

Alcohol isn't at fault. It's the people who abuse it.

Me? I've drunk alcohol for years (not constantly!) and never killed anyone.

Rowan
01-21-2010, 04:46 AM
And don't forget brewing beer. Hobby. Making wine. Hobby. Growing pot. Hobby.

I view the first two as occupations (in my dreams I own a vineyard in France)! Wine/beer tasting or collecting could well be a hobby... as for the latter--well, I just won't go there. :D
How about gardening or growing PLANTS? That's a hobby...I can roll with that. :)

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 04:48 AM
I brew beer with my BIL as a hobby.

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 04:48 AM
I'll have to tell my uncle that his wine-tasting club probably isn't a hobby and his collection doesn't count.

Rowan
01-21-2010, 04:51 AM
I'll have to tell my uncle that his wine-tasting club probably isn't a hobby and his collection doesn't count.

Actually I said it was a hobby. I participate in both myself. My statement about the "latter" was in reference to growing pot. My statement order must've been confusing........ Besides, why anyone would tell anyone anything based upon something a stranger remarked on a public board is a little beyond me. ;)



I view the first two as occupations (in my dreams I own a vineyard in France)! Wine/beer tasting or collecting could well be a hobby...

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 04:54 AM
This thread makes me want to go on a coke and vodka bender. Any takers?

Rowan
01-21-2010, 04:57 AM
I brew beer with my BIL as a hobby.

Sorry, Shadow_Ferret... I wasn't disagreeing w/you but attempting to say that I'd so love to get paid for making wine (or in your case, beer). Thus a job and not a hobby (ideally). :)

benbradley
01-21-2010, 05:13 AM
Now if I want to sit back and enjoy a beer or two while watching a movie by myself, why is that wrong?

Because the "alcohol abuse experts" say so, that's why!

http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/addictions/alcohol/273.html

Ask yourself the following questions to find out if you have a problem with alcohol. If you answer ďyesĒ to any one of them, you may have a drinking problem.
...
7. Do you drink alone?Never admit to anything that might indicate to anyone you "might have a drinking problem" else you might end up at a place where they say "no one ends up here by mistake."

How can I stop drinking?
The first step is to admit that you have a problem and you want to stop. Talk to your doctor, or a parent, school counselor or spiritual leader. You can also contact Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) (http://www.aa.org/?Media=NoFlash), an organization that helps people who have drinking problems. http://www.google.com/search?&q="no+one+ends+up+in+AA+by+mistake (http://www.google.com/search?&q=%22no+one+ends+up+in+AA+by+mistake)
http://www.google.com/search?q="no+one+ends+up+in+an+AA+meeting+by+mistake (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22no+one+ends+up+in+an+AA+meeting+by+mis take)
http://www.google.com/search?q="no+one+ends+up+at+an+AA+meeting+by+mistake (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22no+one+ends+up+at+an+AA+meeting+by+mis take)

And no, I didn't write those. Woops, well, maybe that last one...

Ken
01-21-2010, 05:15 AM
... my IQ was 147 at my last test, if that's important

... that makes you a genius :-O

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 05:19 AM
But I don't drink alone. I drink by myself. I think there's a difference.

Alone assumes loneliness, lack of friends, isolation. It assumes dejection and sadness.

Libbie
01-21-2010, 05:33 AM
I don't know what a strawman is, so I can't say, but back a page, it was said that anyone who says they're a genius is certainly not.

Oh, okay. I missed that somehow.

willietheshakes
01-21-2010, 05:48 AM
Me? I've drunk alcohol for years (not constantly!) and never killed anyone.

Of course, we only have you're word for that...


This thread makes me want to go on a coke and vodka bender. Any takers?

Vodka & Coke? You're SUCH a girl.

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 05:55 AM
I meant "Here's an interesting, nifty thought."

Although if getting stoned gives you ideas for novels, stoke the bong, brother.

scarletpeaches
01-21-2010, 05:58 AM
Then pass it. Cram it, stoke it and pass it.

kuwisdelu
01-21-2010, 06:54 AM
Heh.

I find this thread particularly amusing because it involves my characters smoking weed, snorting coke, drinking, and shooting up heroin.

My main character is a writer. Guess what he does at the end of the chapter?

No comment on what I was doing when I wrote this chapter.

The Lonely One
01-21-2010, 08:37 AM
Now if I want to sit back and enjoy a beer or two while watching a movie by myself, why is that wrong?

This, I should have said, is how I percieve my own use of alcohol, and my personal opinion of it. Meaning, in my own belief, feeling a necessity to drink alone is a problem, generally. If compelled by a simple wanting to enjoy a beer, no problem. If feeling an overwhelming need to drink to complete a task or feel happy...a problem IMO.

The Lonely One
01-21-2010, 08:40 AM
I don't understand why this thread has to be made a joke. I take the opinions of others as if they're meaningful, I wish others would do the same.

kuwisdelu
01-21-2010, 08:44 AM
I don't understand why this thread has to be made a joke. I take the opinions of others as if they're meaningful, I wish others would do the same.

You realise pretty much every thread on AW becomes a joke after a while, right?

And there are often little pearls of wisdom in the humor.

The Lonely One
01-21-2010, 08:45 AM
Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive. If so I retract my grumpy post.

LuckyH
01-21-2010, 10:40 AM
Writing from that part of the world where the sun rises at the right time (itís minutes away), I havenít got much to say on this topic right now. And thatís not me; Iím not a sparse writer, I can spend hours on long words full of philosophical observations, or nonsense if you prefer.

And the reason for my reticence? It was mentioned earlier: Vodka and coke.

aruna
01-21-2010, 11:27 AM
Just because a few people use drugs as escapism doesn't mean everybody does. Fuck, it doesn't even mean that most people do. Drug use (yes, kids, this includes alcohol) is a case by case basis. Please treat is as such. kthanx.

I thought we were talking about alcoholism?


Like I said..................We'll have to agree to disagree re: how we define a 'hobby'. I call going out to drink/eat/hang with buddies socializing.

Cheers! :)

So do I.
Whereas getting passed-out pissed just for the sake of it... well, some people like that, too. Good luck to them.

aruna
01-21-2010, 02:46 PM
Back to the subject of genius...

I agree with NF that genius is something infinitely more than "extremely talented". And somebody mentioned "hard work" upthread. I believe that no amount of hard work can achieve genius; it's something completely off the scale, inexplicable.

For me, the movie Amadeus illustrates the difference, in particular this scene. Salieri spends hours composing a little march in honour of Mozart, of whom he is obsessively envious. And Mozart walks in and puts him to shame:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ciFTP_KRy4

And: Mozart was a drunkard too! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfuM2Ka7Lxc&feature=related)And it didn't stop him from being a genius. But what if he had managed to conquor his addiction; he would have had many many more years of composing beautiful music, instead of dying in his thirties and being buried in a pauper's grave. His genius was certainly not dependent on his drinking. That came later. (the drinking)

ETA: I take back the last sentence. Further research into Mozart's life tells me that his alcoholism was much exagerrated in the movie, and did not contribute to his early death. Sorry...

gothicangel
01-21-2010, 03:49 PM
Back to the subject of genius...

I agree with NF that genius is something infinitely more than "extremely talented". And somebody mentioned "hard work" upthread. I believe that no amount of hard work can achieve genius; it's something completely off the scale, inexplicable.

My sister [an extremely talented pianist] says that concert pianists are not mortal. To me, that's the definition of genius: not mortal in their talent.

Hard work can't turn an good writer into a great one (it can turn an average on into a good one), but I think genius isn't enough on it's own. You have to put the work in too.

aruna
01-21-2010, 03:53 PM
To me, that's the definition of genius: not mortal in their talent.
Exactly. And real genius shows up at a very early age, and is obvious to all.


Hard work can't turn an good writer into a great one (it can turn an average on into a good one), but I think genius isn't enough on it's own. You have to put the work in too.

Again I agree. Genius is like a seedling; it needs to be tended to grow into fullness, and that means hard work.

aruna
01-21-2010, 04:09 PM
Here, again from Amadeus, the epiphany when Salieri realises the true genius of Mozart: perfection.
Now, if I could write like this! If one note word was missing the structure would fall.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5BpzmTIZMU&feature=related

Ken
01-21-2010, 04:16 PM
... true, but far less hard work than most if they aim to achieve the same goals as most. Thing is, though, geniuses don't, according to what I've read. They set their sights on really hard goals, e.g. Nikola Tesla building an AC motor, which was a feat that was said to be impossible at the time. Took him 10 years to figure out how to and did tons of preliminary experiments. So lots of hard work, to be sure. Now if he'd just set out to be a professor like some of his colleagues he could have done that in an eye blink being that he was a master of many languages and had a phenomenal memory, in addition to be an undisputed genius.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 04:46 PM
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

NeuroFizz
01-21-2010, 05:02 PM
The best way to excel is to realize that each summit is a step to a higher goal, and to embrace the constant set of challenges. ~NeuroFizz~

Which is a loose version of Plath's quote with a little extra thrown in.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 05:14 PM
I probably go overboard with the confidence sometimes, but I think that confidence shows up in my writing. I think it's a good thing, and it's not meant like "Ha, I'm better than you" it's meant "Ha, I'm better than the low self esteemed ass who lived in this body before me"

And as far as writing is concerned, if I do have a gift for it, it hasn't reared it's head yet. This has been a lot of hard work.

gothicangel
01-21-2010, 05:47 PM
... true, but far less hard work than most if they aim to achieve the same goals as most. Thing is, though, geniuses don't, according to what I've read. They set their sights on really hard goals, e.g. Nikola Tesla building an AC motor, which was a feat that was said to be impossible at the time.

Another excellent definition of genius.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 05:59 PM
I think Vonnegut's use of "unstuck in time" was genius.

Writing-wise, I mean

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 07:31 PM
I thought we were talking about alcoholism?



I thought we were talking about the stereotype of writers being drinkers.

The Lonely One
01-21-2010, 08:25 PM
Moreso I started the thread as an affront against encouraging drinking/writing as a solution to writerly problems, and an offer of both concurring and opposing opinions. Alcoholism is the avenue I believe such combination can lead, and certainly this combination does little to stifle the stereotype of writers being drinkers.

However, I enjoy beer not only for the occasional stumble-fest with friends, but often without inebriation in mind, for the taste. I've also picked up a liking to Pinot. But having seen the adverse effects of the substance in my family, I'm cognizant of my use and making sure it doesn't become a (as I call it) crutch/addiction.

My own fear, for myself, of writing/drinking stems from my feverish addiction to writing, feeling that, to allow a ritual of alcohol to be involved, will also become as addicting.

And perhaps that's what I'm doing; projecting my own fears and abstinence onto others. If so it has been unconscious up until now...but an interesting thought to consider.

Wayne K
01-21-2010, 08:27 PM
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

aruna
01-21-2010, 08:45 PM
I thought we were talking about the stereotype of writers being drinkers.

drinkers -- alcoholics -- addiction to alcohol
as opposed to moderate/responsible drinking
as we're writers it doesn't seem necessary to add that part every single time... or?

Slushie
01-21-2010, 10:16 PM
I thought we were talking about alcoholism

I was responding to the paint job on drug users.

benbradley
01-21-2010, 11:28 PM
I thought we were talking about alcoholism?I thought we were talking about the stereotype of writers being drinkers.
Perhaps both of you should check out Thinkers Anonymous (http://www.orwelltoday.com/readerthinkeranonymous.shtml).

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2010, 11:59 PM
Moreso I started the thread as an affront against encouraging drinking/writing as a solution to writerly problems, and an offer of both concurring and opposing opinions. Alcoholism is the avenue I believe such combination can lead, and certainly this combination does little to stifle the stereotype of writers being drinkers.

I'd still like to know who is encouraging anyone to drink while they write. I don't believe I've ever read a post that advised, "To write well, you must drink."

Wayne K
01-22-2010, 12:14 AM
I'd still like to know who is encouraging anyone to drink while they write. I don't believe I've ever read a post that advised, "To write well, you must drink."
There's a SK joke here....

The Lonely One
01-22-2010, 01:30 AM
I'd still like to know who is encouraging anyone to drink while they write. I don't believe I've ever read a post that advised, "To write well, you must drink."

Shadow Ferret, I'm extending my argument beyond AW. No one has said "to write well you must drink," but some writers, which, whether others have seen this or not, I have witnessed, have encouraged drinking while writing as a natural method common among other writers. I'm trying to be as specific as possible in my argument; I am not fighting against the stereotype of writers/alcoholics by outside members of society. I am not trying to infringe on personal and legal rights. I am not calling all drinkers drunks (as I am a drinker, but most often not a drunk).

But several in this thread have taken what I've said in a broader context which I did not imply (not talking about you SF), changed the topic to that which has nothing do with the initial topic, or just made a cruel-spirited joke of the topic, one which I actually think is serious. It is discouraging to see this happen on an intellectual platform such as this. Though it is at the same time encouraging to see several discuss this topic intelligently and civilly.

That said, I simply don't see the need for us to bully one another's ideas around, and let things sink to an immature level, because really, no one respects an opinion expressed like that of a 2nd-grader. This is a place of free, clear expression, not dominance, bullying and arrogance.

I am not attacking AWers with this idea of alcohol/writing dependence, I am addressing what I see as a wider issue. That is, the danger of creative 'aids' and addiction. If, and now I'm not being neutral and civil, you need drugs/alcohol to write, you're a shittier writer than every other writer who puts in the same effort sober and produces comparable results. Just like the athlete who uses steroids, a dependence on a substance is a crutch, which I mean to say that this dependence is not something to be proud of or tout. You may do whatever you choose, my opinion is not hard fact, but it is my freedom to speak up against what I see as reckless and discouraging to us all as thinking artists, who, presumably, should be able to do it on our own.

willietheshakes
01-22-2010, 01:40 AM
Seeing as we're talking thread drift and people getting distracted, I thought I'd go back to one of the first posts..



If one drinks every time they write, it is a vice. That may be my opinion but I'd argue it's a true one.

And I'd argue that it's bullshit, and (seeing as you introduced it in your first post) firmly rooted in your personal/familial experiences and biases

That's fine -- like you keep repeating, you're free to believe what you want.



If the writing culture thus begins to tell new writers that drinking helps them write, it seems to explain away the dangers like a cool joe camel commercial. If you drink enough you write a novel. If you smoke enough you can get a river raft with your cigarette points.

But so far you haven't demonstrated that there's ANY culture of encouraging young writers to drink -- it's a straw man that you've created.


I'd not tell you what to do with yourself.

I don't believe you.

Especially when you say things like:

If, and now I'm not being neutral and civil, you need drugs/alcohol to write, you're a shittier writer than every other writer who puts in the same effort sober and produces comparable results. Just like the athlete who uses steroids, a dependence on a substance is a crutch, which I mean to say that this dependence is not something to be proud of or tout.

*gasp*

Well, so long as you're not telling us what to do, I suppose it's all right to refer to ANYONE who needs "drugs/alcohol" as "shittier". Yup, no intolerance there.

Where do you stand on coffee? Caffeine is a drug...
How about chocolate? Sugar's a drug...
Cigarettes? Pipes? Cigars?

So let me get this straight -- anyone who has a cup of coffee and a cigarette before they write is de facto shittier?

Thanks. We need more tolerant people like you.

KTC
01-22-2010, 01:53 AM
Shadow Ferret, I'm extending my argument beyond AW. No one has said "to write well you must drink," but some writers, which, whether others have seen this or not, I have witnessed, have encouraged drinking while writing as a natural method common among other writers. I'm trying to be as specific as possible in my argument; I am not fighting against the stereotype of writers/alcoholics by outside members of society. I am not trying to infringe on personal and legal rights. I am not calling all drinkers drunks (as I am a drinker, but most often not a drunk).

But several in this thread have taken what I've said in a broader context which I did not imply (not talking about you SF), changed the topic to that which has nothing do with the initial topic, or just made a cruel-spirited joke of the topic, one which I actually think is serious. It is discouraging to see this happen on an intellectual platform such as this. Though it is at the same time encouraging to see several discuss this topic intelligently and civilly.

That said, I simply don't see the need for us to bully one another's ideas around, and let things sink to an immature level, because really, no one respects an opinion expressed like that of a 2nd-grader. This is a place of free, clear expression, not dominance, bullying and arrogance.

I am not attacking AWers with this idea of alcohol/writing dependence, I am addressing what I see as a wider issue. That is, the danger of creative 'aids' and addiction. If, and now I'm not being neutral and civil, you need drugs/alcohol to write, you're a shittier writer than every other writer who puts in the same effort sober and produces comparable results. Just like the athlete who uses steroids, a dependence on a substance is a crutch, which I mean to say that this dependence is not something to be proud of or tout. You may do whatever you choose, my opinion is not hard fact, but it is my freedom to speak up against what I see as reckless and discouraging to us all as thinking artists, who, presumably, should be able to do it on our own.


Please...show me these people who tell writers to drink and write. Please...show me these writers who drink and churn out 'shitty' writing as a result of said drink. I really don't like this topic because I think it stinks of bigoted misinformation...but I am willing to peruse your collected research.

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2010, 01:58 AM
There's a SK joke here....
What's an SK?

That is, the danger of creative 'aids' and addiction. If, and now I'm not being neutral and civil, you need drugs/alcohol to write, you're a shittier writer than every other writer who puts in the same effort sober and produces comparable results. Just like the athlete who uses steroids, a dependence on a substance is a crutch, which I mean to say that this dependence is not something to be proud of or tout. You may do whatever you choose, my opinion is not hard fact, but it is my freedom to speak up against what I see as reckless and discouraging to us all as thinking artists, who, presumably, should be able to do it on our own.

I guess I come at this from a whole different aspect. I grew up in the free love and drug days of the late 60s/early 70s. I grew up accepting experimenting with drugs as just the way things were. Many musicians of the day took drugs and produced some incredible music. Several writers took drugs and wrote some interesting works about their experiences. And I'm sure there were many artists who created psychedelic paintings while on drugs.

I don't have a pious, high and mighty attitude against drugs. On the contrary, I accept it. If someone feels that drugs enhance the visualization of their poetry or their prose, that's their choice. More power to them.

You don't like the idea that there's some perception that writers and alcohol go together. Fine. But I don't have a problem with it. In fact, I find it a fascinating subject and think its made for some very interesting movies on the topic, "The Lost Weekend," for one.

So sorry if I don't share in your outrage.

Toothpaste
01-22-2010, 03:05 AM
Okay, the only way I can kind of understand some of the outrage is the perspective that isn't being shared here. If in fact people are advocating drug use/drinking alcohol to write better books, if, as Shadow Ferret has explained, great works can be created when someone is high etc, I think then there can be a reaction by those who don't use a stimulant to write. The reaction is: "Well if genius can only happen if you're intoxicated, then I guess I'll never be a genius."

I don't do drugs. I drink only socially. I know when I was younger I did often find there was an attitude of "great art comes through freeing the mind through outside help". I've been told on many occasions that people have epiphanies when high (I find it's usually more related to drugs than drinking though) that are impossible to get otherwise. And it's tough being told that, because it basically means that if you don't get high you'll never have that same kind of epiphany. By extension (and I've heard this implied as well) if you want to create your art sober, you'll never truly get to the same level as someone who's experienced a drug induced hallucination.

Now that I'm older, I call BS. We are all individuals and what works best for us works best for us. I don't think I am any less in touch with myself because I don't do drugs, nor that my imagination is less brilliant because I've never hallucinated. At the same time I don't discount the experiences others have had, and in fact love to hear their stories so I can draw on them myself.

As far as drinking goes . . . well it's the same thing.

So I think possibly that is why a topic that seems to be about one thing can actually be about another. Many of us have actually experienced being considered less artistic because we weren't interested in getting high or drunk, and so that can inform a seeming straightforward question about should this belief be perpetuated. It can result in someone becoming defensive, even name calling (never a good thing), because they were burned themselves in the past.

For the record, if this idea is being perpetuated by writers of note (and that's the crux of the premise to this thread - I just don't think it is), I don't think it should be. But not because I think drinking and writing is inherently bad. My issue is with the notion that you'll be a better writer because of it (which, again, as I've already stated, suggests that if you don't do it you're screwed). I think people should feel comfortable in whatever method they choose, and feel that they are able to achieve whatever level of greatness they desire in whatever manner they wish. I do draw the line at self harm, and if someone is an alcoholic or seriously abusing drugs, I would not tell them, "Whatever works for your writing", I would caution them against what they were doing. But that would be more like a general intervention than an issue I take with their means of storytelling.

The Lonely One
01-22-2010, 03:16 AM
Seeing as we're talking thread drift and people getting distracted, I thought I'd go back to one of the first posts..



And I'd argue that it's bullshit, and (seeing as you introduced it in your first post) firmly rooted in your personal/familial experiences and biases

That's fine -- like you keep repeating, you're free to believe what you want.




But so far you haven't demonstrated that there's ANY culture of encouraging young writers to drink -- it's a straw man that you've created.



I don't believe you.

Especially when you say things like:


*gasp*

Well, so long as you're not telling us what to do, I suppose it's all right to refer to ANYONE who needs "drugs/alcohol" as "shittier". Yup, no intolerance there.

Where do you stand on coffee? Caffeine is a drug...
How about chocolate? Sugar's a drug...
Cigarettes? Pipes? Cigars?

So let me get this straight -- anyone who has a cup of coffee and a cigarette before they write is de facto shittier?

Thanks. We need more tolerant people like you.

Okay, listen dude, I'm really getting fucking tired of people taking my words completely out of context. Quote me.

I am NOT intolerant. I'm not telling YOU or anyone else that you CAN'T write and drink, if that's what they want to do. I'm stating my opinion. Yes, I do think (which my thinking so doesn't prevent anyone from doing anything) if you can't write sober you're worse a writer than someone who can, who can work through the tough spots with their own mind rather than resort to what I would consider a weakness. and that alcohol is a crutch. That's my opinion. I'm not saying you have to go by my opinion. But fuck the insults. I'm not here to be attacked.

I HAVE encountered writers encouraging writers to drink to get the creative juices flowing, and I DO believe it's wrong.

You're saying it's not a problem to "need" drugs/alcohol? For ANY reason? Give me a break. I'm done with this thread, and possibly with AW for a while, at least for me to cool down. It's not worth getting this upset over someone jumping down my throat for no good reason.

Honestly, I didn't come into this with the intent of insulting others, and if I did, I'm sorry. But I also didn't come here to be insulted.

The Lonely One
01-22-2010, 03:31 AM
Okay, the only way I can kind of understand some of the outrage is the perspective that isn't being shared here. If in fact people are advocating drug use/drinking alcohol to write better books, if, as Shadow Ferret has explained, great works can be created when someone is high etc, I think then there can be a reaction by those who don't use a stimulant to write. The reaction is: "Well if genius can only happen if you're intoxicated, then I guess I'll never be a genius."

I don't do drugs. I drink only socially. I know when I was younger I did often find there was an attitude of "great art comes through freeing the mind through outside help". I've been told on many occasions that people have epiphanies when high (I find it's usually more related to drugs than drinking though) that are impossible to get otherwise. And it's tough being told that, because it basically means that if you don't get high you'll never have that same kind of epiphany. By extension (and I've heard this implied as well) if you want to create your art sober, you'll never truly get to the same level as someone who's experienced a drug induced hallucination.

Now that I'm older, I call BS. We are all individuals and what works best for us works best for us. I don't think I am any less in touch with myself because I don't do drugs, nor that my imagination is less brilliant because I've never hallucinated. At the same time I don't discount the experiences others have had, and in fact love to hear their stories so I can draw on them myself.

As far as drinking goes . . . well it's the same thing.

So I think possibly that is why a topic that seems to be about one thing can actually be about another. Many of us have actually experienced being considered less artistic because we weren't interested in getting high or drunk, and so that can inform a seeming straightforward question about should this belief be perpetuated. It can result in someone becoming defensive, even name calling (never a good thing), because they were burned themselves in the past.

For the record, if this idea is being perpetuated by writers of note (and that's the crux of the premise to this thread - I just don't think it is), I don't think it should be. But not because I think drinking and writing is inherently bad. My issue is with the notion that you'll be a better writer because of it (which, again, as I've already stated, suggests that if you don't do it you're screwed). I think people should feel comfortable in whatever method they choose, and feel that they are able to achieve whatever level of greatness they desire in whatever manner they wish. I do draw the line at self harm, and if someone is an alcoholic or seriously abusing drugs, I would not tell them, "Whatever works for your writing", I would caution them against what they were doing. But that would be more like a general intervention than an issue I take with their means of storytelling.

I read this just a moment ago and found it enlightening and well said. It helps illuminate both sides of the issue in a way that (I think...I haven't read all the pages) hasn't been said yet.

Slushie
01-22-2010, 03:36 AM
Damn. This is going off the rails. Is anybody in this thread actually saying 'if you do drugs then you will be a better writer'? Doesn't seem like it, and it would be fucking stupid to do that. So I'm sure, here, we can agree that people shouldn't actively encourage others to get fucked up in order to write better. Unless there are some scientific studies that {general} you can bring verifying that allegation, there is no proof this is an issue of causation over correlation.

I've written some good stuff while being fucked up. But did I write it because I was fucked up? No. I don't think so. And I say that because I can't notice any difference in quality between sober writing and intoxicated writing. I've also come up with some good stuff in my head while being a lazy pile of dung on the couch.

It's one thing to share experiences, but another to actively promote it.

"I was drinking last night when I came up with some great dialogue."
"If you drink in front of the computer, you will write some great dialogue."

Drink, don't drink. Smoke, don't smoke. Do whatever {general} you want, just don't tell other people what to do. And even more, don't listen to everything someone tells {general} you to do. Like I just did.

The Lonely One
01-22-2010, 03:40 AM
Please...show me these people who tell writers to drink and write. Please...show me these writers who drink and churn out 'shitty' writing as a result of said drink. I really don't like this topic because I think it stinks of bigoted misinformation...but I am willing to peruse your collected research.

It's not so much a matter of research as personal experience. I would point the people out but they're often members of writing courses or professors or random "writers" who in public discuss how writer's block can simply be overcome time and time again with a "few shots" or something. I am leaving this thread behind for a while, and please, I am not a bigot, so please refrain from using that kind of language toward me.

I don't think writing+drinking produces shitty writing, I think the writer who needs (see NEEDS not wants) alcohol to write well is not as strong minded as the sober writer, who writes whether they feel like it or not, without help. But it doesn't matter, because those of an opposite opinion of my own don't (most of them) come into this with an adult attitude. The arguments are just "Let's go get fucked up" and "snort coke off a hooker's back!" and those are not civil, intelligent arguments, they're aimed at being rude and getting a rise out of others of differing opinions.

But if you guys want to just drop it and lock the thread and move on, I'm all for it. Because I really have enough stress in my life and don't need new sources of negativity. The phrase everyone seems to use is 'strawman' so just go ahead and burn him down. I won't watch.

I seriously have nothing against any one of you, it's just draining to be called a bigot and intolerant because I have a negative opinion on alcoholism and drug addiction.

willietheshakes
01-22-2010, 04:12 AM
I think my issue, TLO, is that you're extrapolating, and equating drinking with alcoholism, drug use with drug addiction.

You're painting with a very wide brush, and not allowing any room for nuance. There's a huge difference between a guy who has a beer when he gets home from work every night, or a writer who pours himself two fingers when he sits down to the computer, and an alcoholic. One does not, ipso facto, equal the other.

That's a distinction, however, that you do not make. By your own words, the writer who comes home from his job, pours himself a drink to relax as he settles in with his manuscript, is a "shittier" writer than one who does not.

And, frankly, that's crap.

THAT was the point I was getting at with my example involving the coffee -- you have left no room for ANY middle ground. By your definitions, and judgements, the person who has coffee and a cigarette when they write is guilty of using a crutch, and therefore a shittier writer than one who doesn't.

Surely you can see why that might raise someone's ire?

kuwisdelu
01-22-2010, 04:17 AM
If I write two versions of the same scene -- one while drunk and one while sober -- and I like the one I wrote while I was drunk better...should I not use it simply because I wrote it while using a "crutch"? Was I somehow "cheating" when I wrote it? Should I scrap it for the version of the scene I wrote sober just because I didn't need any "help" to write that version?

Cranky
01-22-2010, 04:59 AM
If I write two versions of the same scene -- one while drunk and one while sober -- and I like the one I wrote while I was drunk better...should I not use it simply because I wrote it while using a "crutch"? Was I somehow "cheating" when I wrote it? Should I scrap it for the version of the scene I wrote sober just because I didn't need any "help" to write that version?


I haven't yet tried to write while intoxicated on anything (I get too sleepy to write anything weightier than forum posts, lol), but I agree with you on this.

What I will say is that I don't think that being an alcoholic is a requirement to be a great writer. The fact that several "genius" writers were also alcoholics seems to me to be something of a coincidence. By which I mean, I think that even if they didn't write, they would still have been alcoholics. That's complete speculation, though, of course.

kuwisdelu
01-22-2010, 05:06 AM
What I will say is that I don't think that being an alcoholic is a requirement to be a great writer. The fact that several "genius" writers were also alcoholics seems to me to be something of a coincidence. By which I mean, I think that even if they didn't write, they would still have been alcoholics. That's complete speculation, though, of course.

Aye.

I don't think it's possible to make generalizations about these kinds of things w.r.t. to correlation.

Sometimes a drink will help someone get through a scene. Sometimes not. Sometimes great artists known for their substance abuse will go sober. Sometimes people will say their sober work is so much better while others will say its shit and lost whatever it had before.

Rowan
01-22-2010, 05:09 AM
Maybe I'm missing the point as I haven't read all of the pages and posts but what I believe The Lonely One is saying that if one can't write without first consuming alcohol perhaps it would be beneficial to explore/examine why. To use kuwisdelu's example, I don't think he's saying if you happen to have a glass of wine or a shot of tequila and write a brilliant chapter you should discard it as you aren't relying on alcohol to accomplish the task. Ie., you didn't need that drink to write that chapter, you just happened to have a drink and put out a good piece so more power to you, etc. He's also expressed that his opinions towards alcohol are his own and he's not suggesting everyone agree with him. That's the beauty of an opinion. Some people think drugs are great and should be legalized; others think that's an absurd notion. Both camps have valid points backing up their arguments. :)

I equate needing alcohol to write as needing steroids to excel in sports---in that sense it is a "crutch". Kind of like Linus and his blanket. I can't remember that baseball player's name (he's been in the news lately LOL) but would he have broken all those records had he not been on steroids? He'll never know and that's sad (IMHO).

I personally haven't experienced anyone telling me that I need to drink copious amounts of alcohol -- or take drugs -- to succeed at writing but then again in my profession that wouldn't go over well...at all. :scared:

I do think the absinthe usage by many artists/writers during the 18th / 19th centuries was quite interesting.................... :)

So having said that... everything stated here is my personal opinion and not meant as an attack on anyone or even to upset / enrage anyone. Like I said, I'm generally alone on my little island with my strange ideas and thoughts and that's okay with me.

Cranky
01-22-2010, 05:09 AM
Exactly. Cheers! :D

ETA: Whoopsie-doodle. That was a response to Kuwisdelu's post, not yours, Rowan! Though you make some good points as well. :) However, I think it's all sort of unknowable. Would the greats (in any field) have been as great, or better, or worse, without their dependence on alcohol or other substances? Who knows? *shrug*

Rowan
01-22-2010, 05:14 AM
Exactly. Cheers! :D

ETA: Whoopsie-doodle. That was a response to Kuwisdelu's post, not yours, Rowan! Though you make some good points as well. :) However, I think it's all sort of unknowable. Would the greats (in any field) have been as great, or better, or worse, without their dependence on alcohol or other substances? Who knows? *shrug*

Aw, shucks. I don't get an "exactly"! LOL :D

I kind of snuck my post in there......... ;) But figured you were responding to Kuwisdelu's post (that is a confusing name to type).

kuwisdelu
01-22-2010, 05:18 AM
Maybe I'm missing the point as I haven't read all of the pages and posts but what I believe The Lonely One is saying that if one can't write without first consuming alcohol perhaps it would be beneficial to explore/examine why. To use kuwisdelu's example, I don't think he's saying if you happen to have a glass of wine or a shot of tequila and write a brilliant chapter you should discard it as you aren't relying on alcohol to accomplish the task. Ie., you didn't need that drink to write that chapter, you just happened to have a drink and put out a good piece so more power to you, etc.

I guess I'm not really quite getting this distinction.

What if -- for all appearances -- you do need some sort of substance to write something? Not all the time. Not in general to write. But, say, a certain chapter just doesn't click no matter how many times you've tried it sober until you've had a few? Even though all the chapters up until that point were written sober?

Would you classify that as "needing" alcohol to have written that chapter?

Would that be bad?

Rowan
01-22-2010, 05:30 AM
I guess I'm not really quite getting this distinction.

What if -- for all appearances -- you do need some sort of substance to write something? Not all the time. Not in general to write. But, say, a certain chapter just doesn't click no matter how many times you've tried it sober until you've had a few? Even though all the chapters up until that point were written sober?

Would you classify that as "needing" alcohol to have written that chapter?

Would that be bad?

I guess I would classify that as "needing" alcohol to write that chapter if you're saying the writer is unable to get it done sober. BUT, I'm not saying it would be "bad" but I would have to wonder why (and I would personally be curious to discover why)... when I'm blocked (as in writing not gastrointestinal mind you :) ) I tend to take a step back and revisit it later. Or get a friend's/another writer's opinion, etc. I can't relate to needing alcohol or drugs in this manner so I'm freely admitting that I don't understand it fully. On that same note, some people can't give a public speech or approach a member of the opposite sex (for two examples) without that liquid courage. For me that's different in that the task isn't creative so much as a confidence thing. Then again if your inability to write is related to a lack of confidence perhaps there is a correlation. Okay, now I'm not making any sense and I've only had one cup of herbal tea. :)

LuckyH
01-22-2010, 11:37 AM
Some interesting observations on this perplexing topic have arrived late. Restricting myself to discussing alcohol, I have been in many social situations where a couple of beers have helped a great deal.

The last one I can distinctly remember was the funeral of a close friend. After a morning of extreme sadness saying our farewells, most of us met up afterwards to celebrate our friendís life. Those few beers on that occasion helped us all a great deal, and it took away some of the pain.

When I eventually got home, I did what writers do, I wrote about my friend. I had had quite a few beers, but I wasnít drunk, because I canít write at all when Iím drunk.

Christ, Iíve just remembered. My friend was an avid reader and when I looked into the coffin, several of her favourite books had been placed there by her husband, at the deceasedís request, including my latest.

Luckily my partner had a steady grip of my arm, because it really cracked me up. It was at least an hour later before I got my first beer, and I needed it badly, whatever that makes me.

Ken
01-22-2010, 05:27 PM
... people who drink regularly often make out okay. Evidence of that right here on this site. Maybe it's just me, but I still look at some drinkers and wonder how much more they would've achieved if they didn't drink at all.

There's keen intelligence that comes across in their observations and real insight into subjects. Somehow, though, it all seems blunted and placed to the side and I suspect, perhaps falsely, that that's due to alcohol. A real shame if that is so. For while they are making out okay there was potential for them to achieve so much more: become critically acclaimed authors, excel in their chosen career fields or academic areas of interest.

I never had much potential myself or intelligence, and have had to struggle to obtain what little I've got. So to me commodities like intelligence and natural talent and ability have great value and it amazes me anyone would jeopardize them, even if they have plenty to spare, as many here and elsewhere do.

ps Don't let yourself be bullied, Lonely One. You made a good point. Stick to it.

Rowan
01-22-2010, 05:28 PM
Some interesting observations on this perplexing topic have arrived late. Restricting myself to discussing alcohol, I have been in many social situations where a couple of beers have helped a great deal.

The last one I can distinctly remember was the funeral of a close friend. After a morning of extreme sadness saying our farewells, most of us met up afterwards to celebrate our friendís life. Those few beers on that occasion helped us all a great deal, and it took away some of the pain.

When I eventually got home, I did what writers do, I wrote about my friend. I had had quite a few beers, but I wasnít drunk, because I canít write at all when Iím drunk.

Christ, Iíve just remembered. My friend was an avid reader and when I looked into the coffin, several of her favourite books had been placed there by her husband, at the deceasedís request, including my latest.

Luckily my partner had a steady grip of my arm, because it really cracked me up. It was at least an hour later before I got my first beer, and I needed it badly, whatever that makes me.

That makes you human... :Hug2:[Sorry for the loss of your friend]

Rowan
01-22-2010, 05:35 PM
... people who drink regularly often make out okay. Evidence of that right here on this site. Maybe it's just me, but I still look at some of the drinkers and wonder how much more they would've achieved if they didn't drink at all.

There's keen intelligence that comes across in their observations and real insight into subjects. Somehow, though, it all seems blunted and placed to the side and I suspect, perhaps falsely, that that's due to alcohol. A real shame if that is so.

For while they are making out okay there was potential for them to achieve so much more. Never had much potential myself or intelligence, and have had to struggle to obtain what little I've got. So to me those commodities have great value and it amazes me anyone would squander it even if they have plenty to spare, as many here and elsewhere do.

I drink a glass of red wine almost every day -- at least every other -- often with my evening meal or late in the evening once I've settled in. I'm not sure if that falls under your classification of "regular drinker" and/or if that's indicative of one squandering brain cells/intelligence/potential, etc. :Shrug:Personally, I believe the medical journals that advocate a glass of red wine per day and I look to the French! My doctor seems to think I'm on the right track when he sees me once a year. :)

ETA: Not that I consider my posts particularly insightful or anything of that nature! :D

Ken
01-22-2010, 06:11 PM
... by 'regular drinker' I suppose I mean drinking more than 3-4 drinks a sitting, 2 or more times a week. Maybe less would qualify, maybe more. But it's around there, somewhere.

ps And your post are good ones, Rowan ;-)

Rowan
01-22-2010, 06:23 PM
... by 'regular drinker' I suppose I mean drinking more than 3-4 drinks a sitting, 2 or more times a week. Maybe less would qualify, maybe more. But it's around there, somewhere.

ps And your post are good ones, Rowan ;-)

Now I'm tracking... so you're referring more to volume. :) Most docs would heartily agree with you from what research I've read!

Thank you, Ken. :)

CaroGirl
01-22-2010, 06:28 PM
I like drinking and I like writing. Sometimes they might naturally come together but not all that often. Mostly because I like drinking and I like eating; I like drinking and I like playing cards; I like drinking and I like skinny hot-tubbing... ahem, and so on.

If you drink every time you write and you write for many hours every day, you might have a problem. But then again, you might not. Tis not for me to judge.

Shadow_Ferret
01-23-2010, 12:07 AM
needing[/I] alcohol to write as needing steroids to excel in sports---in that sense it is a "crutch". Kind of like Linus and his blanket. I can't remember that baseball player's name (he's been in the news lately LOL) but would he have broken all those records had he not been on steroids? He'll never know and that's sad (IMHO).


Well, I wouldn't call steroids a "crutch," I'd call it an unfair advantage and is one of the reasons it is a banned substance. It makes athletes almost into superhuman freaks. Mark Macguire is the athlete you're thinking of, and prior to his taking steroids, he was a normal sized man. Once he started juicing he became very muscular.

But drinking doesn't always make you a superhuman writer. In fact, as many have pointed out, it makes many sleepy, or they simply write gibberish.

I don't really equate the two as being equal.

And personally, though I don't write and drink ...because drinking takes away my drive... if the alcohol does help access the creative part of your brain, say you're too inhibited to write horror stories, but a beer knocks down the inhibitors releasing the horror writer in you, Does that make the alcohol somehow bad? Is it a crutch? Or in that case, is it just a tool?

LuckyH
01-23-2010, 12:21 AM
That makes you human... :Hug2:[Sorry for the loss of your friend]

Thank you.

Breddings
01-23-2010, 02:32 AM
But it doesn't matter, because those of an opposite opinion of my own don't (most of them) come into this with an adult attitude.

Wow!

Interesting conversation, though.

I always think of the John Mahoney character from Barton Fink when I think of the stereotypical "drinking writer."

I've never understood how anyone can do it. I have to be stone sober to write anything serious, even one drink makes me lazy and careless. I might jot down some ideas but words-to-sentences-to-paragraphs requires an alcohol free me. For that reason the steroids analogy doesn't work in my mind. Steroids are performance enhancing drugs (so I'm told, never been there) while alcohol is a depressant. It doesn't make me want to perform as a writer or anything else, it makes me want to eat greasy food and watch scifi movies!

Rowan
01-23-2010, 03:24 AM
Well, I wouldn't call steroids a "crutch," I'd call it an unfair advantage and is one of the reasons it is a banned substance. It makes athletes almost into superhuman freaks. Mark Macguire is the athlete you're thinking of, and prior to his taking steroids, he was a normal sized man. Once he started juicing he became very muscular.

But drinking doesn't always make you a superhuman writer. In fact, as many have pointed out, it makes many sleepy, or they simply write gibberish.

I don't really equate the two as being equal.

And personally, though I don't write and drink ...because drinking takes away my drive... if the alcohol does help access the creative part of your brain, say you're too inhibited to write horror stories, but a beer knocks down the inhibitors releasing the horror writer in you, Does that make the alcohol somehow bad? Is it a crutch? Or in that case, is it just a tool?

In my statement I was referring to the alcohol/writing issue as the "crutch" (ie., if you need alcohol to write as an athlete needs steroids to participate/excel in any given sport -- in that sense the alcohol usage is a crutch, IMHO). I'm using the steroid analogy to demonstrate the need for something in order to excel/function. IMHO, this applies whether one needs alcohol to write a specific genre or just to accomplish the task of putting words on paper, etc. I'm not referring to individuals who might have a glass of wine at diinner and then proceed to write up a few chapters later that night. They didn't necessarily need that drink to accomplish the task at hand. I simply (personally) can't view alcohol or drugs as "tools" just as I can't view the mere consumption of alcohol as a hobby. Sorry. But I'm sure there are many who do! :)

As for the steroids/Macguire analogy, my point was that his steroid usage diminished his accomplishments. He'll never know if he could've excelled otherwise and like I sad, that's pretty sad. The same can apply to achievements accomplished under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics. And yes, I'm well aware that steroids are banned substances (Schedule III of the CSA)...


my statement: I equate needing alcohol to write as needing steroids to excel in sports---in that sense it is a "crutch". Kind of like Linus and his blanket. I can't remember that baseball player's name (he's been in the news lately LOL) but would he have broken all those records had he not been on steroids? He'll never know and that's sad (IMHO).

Again, please let me repeat that this is just my opinion. :)

Rowan
01-23-2010, 03:29 AM
Wow!

Interesting conversation, though.

I always think of the John Mahoney character from Barton Fink when I think of the stereotypical "drinking writer."

I've never understood how anyone can do it. I have to be stone sober to write anything serious, even one drink makes me lazy and careless. I might jot down some ideas but words-to-sentences-to-paragraphs requires an alcohol free me. For that reason the steroids analogy doesn't work in my mind. Steroids are performance enhancing drugs (so I'm told, never been there) while alcohol is a depressant. It doesn't make me want to perform as a writer or anything else, it makes me want to eat greasy food and watch scifi movies!

bolding is mine.

RE: the steroid analogy---I'm not only referring to how alcohol or steroids act on the body...I'm looking at it more from a psychological angle. Please see my above post for clarification.

Breddings
01-23-2010, 06:23 AM
No need to clarify, Rowan. I get your point; just sharing my perspective.

Shadow_Ferret
01-23-2010, 08:36 AM
I simply (personally) can't view alcohol or drugs as "tools" just as I can't view the mere consumption of alcohol as a hobby. Sorry. But I'm sure there are many who do! :)



Guess we just have completely different views on the subject.

Rowan
01-23-2010, 05:18 PM
Guess we just have completely different views on the subject.

..and there is nothing wrong with that! :)

lucidzfl
01-25-2010, 11:00 PM
Well I read this entire thread before posting. There's a lot of ridiculous shit in here, I'll just sum that up.

Now, since no one else has said anything like what I'm about to say, here goes.

I have had at least one drink every single day since as long as I can remember. I cannot imagine not having a drink every single day for the rest of my life.

I also have a prerequisite drink (or two) every time BEFORE I write. Do I need it? I can't say. I cannot imagine NOT doing it. Is it ritual or is it a requirement? I don't know and I DON'T CARE.

I love drinking. LOVE IT. I also cook with real butter, drive a gas guzzler, and have a big ass TV.

Its my life, and I enjoy it. If you don't like it its fine, but don't sit there and spew, through clenched teeth, that (some of you) aren't bigoted about it while offering backhanded insults about it. "I don't have a problem with people who drink, I just think alcoholism is really sad."

And to the person asking how much more writing I'd get done being stone cold drunk vs stone cold sober, the answer is NONE.

I should mention, since I can already see wheels turning in some of your minds, that I do not get drunk ever day. I almost rarely get drunk at all ,and if it happens, its on accident. I only drink wine, not beer, and not liquor, and by the time I've drank enough wine to be drunk I'm passing out from being tired.

lucidzfl
01-25-2010, 11:05 PM
DAMN

lucidzfl
01-25-2010, 11:10 PM
oops

Wayne K
01-25-2010, 11:20 PM
Yipes

Slushie
01-25-2010, 11:23 PM
I hope this thread dies of alcohol poisoning.

Shadow_Ferret
01-25-2010, 11:24 PM
I love drinking. LOVE IT. I also cook with real butter, drive a gas guzzler, and have a big ass TV.



I love you.

*looks around*

*cough*

lucidzfl
01-25-2010, 11:24 PM
Yipes

Yeah the internet locked up and the damn thing triple posted. Doesn't make me look all that good does it :D

willietheshakes
01-25-2010, 11:56 PM
Yeah the internet locked up and the damn thing triple posted. Doesn't make me look all that good does it :D

I assumed you were drunk...

lucidzfl
01-25-2010, 11:57 PM
I assumed you were drunk...

Is it really funny when I already made that same joke thirty minutes ago?

Also, you're about to hit 2000 posts.

CaroGirl
01-26-2010, 12:12 AM
I love drinking. LOVE IT. I also cook with real butter, drive a gas guzzler, and have a big ass TV.

Fixed that for you. You're welcome.

lucidzfl
01-26-2010, 12:14 AM
Fixed that for you. You're welcome.

My butt is not that big :(

Meanie head.

willietheshakes
01-26-2010, 12:38 AM
Is it really funny when I already made that same joke thirty minutes ago?

Well, I'm pretty drunk.


Also, you're about to hit 2000 posts.

Yeah, I thought I should make it something significant, something important. A cogent observation perhaps. A stirring insight.

Then I figured, fuck that.

NeuroFizz
01-26-2010, 12:41 AM
I learned, early on, to not ask that damn question: Does this wine make my butt look big?

willietheshakes
01-26-2010, 12:47 AM
I learned, early on, to not ask that damn question: Does this wine make my butt look big?

I've learned not to ANSWER that question...

kuwisdelu
01-26-2010, 01:55 AM
I learned, early on, to not ask that damn question: Does this wine make my butt look big?

No, but it makes your manboobs look HUUUUGE.

MattW
01-26-2010, 02:03 AM
There's something about a drink or two that helps me ease into certain voices or characters better, but I don't rely on booze to write. As a matter of fact, I haven't had a drink in weeks. I don't think the quality is any different, but the time it takes to slip into a pattern is shorter, plus odd connections get made that I wouldn't put together.

I get a similar result when I'm overtired.

maestrowork
01-26-2010, 03:48 AM
I don't drink (maybe one drink a year, that's about it), and I don't think it affects my writing.

If alcohol is your thing, then it's your thing. But I personally don't think you need substances to help you write. That's my opinion.

NeuroFizz
01-26-2010, 04:16 AM
No, but it makes your manboobs look HUUUUGE.
Maybe I should uncork that bottle of Sabastiani Barbera and stay busy all night...

timewaster
01-26-2010, 04:19 AM
I would be hard pressed to write anything without chocolate and coffee and I have red wine most days too - sometimes while writing.
I don't really regard them as a crutch just something I do because I like chocolate, coffee and red wine.
Do I encourage my students to do the same? Probably. I make a joke of my habits and I think I mention them on my websites.
Do they take any notice? Probably not. I think some people need to lighten up.

lucidzfl
01-26-2010, 04:43 AM
I don't drink (maybe one drink a year, that's about it), and I don't think it affects my writing.

If alcohol is your thing, then it's your thing. But I personally don't think you need substances to help you write. That's my opinion.

There are so many facets to the conciete of ritual that its ridiculous. Some people say, only write in a certain room, in a certain chair. That your mind adapts to that concept and you can't help but write when you sit there.

For me, when I come home from work, I'm a waste. Consumed by the day, and unable to form straight thoughts, a glass of wine dumbs me down so that myself and my subconcious can sit in front of the computer and have a chat.

It does work for me. Do I think you should be plastered drunk, or need to be, in order to write? Hell no.

But thats the problem with a lot of people in this thread. Having a drink != Drinking.

NeuroFizz
01-26-2010, 05:02 AM
The only thing harder than changing people's beliefs is to accept that different is NOT synonymous with bad. (I'm speaking from experience--sometimes I find it hard to calm my pet issues.)

One person's enjoyment is another's crutch.
One person's routine is another's superstition.
One person's view on casual consumption is another's definition of addiction.

We all write. We all have our "habits," some bad and some good. Hopefully we will all eventually realize which habits directly benefit our writing and which ones don't (through experience). And hopefully that will make us each (and individually) a better writer.

icerose
01-26-2010, 06:27 AM
Having tried to follow this thread and failing miserable, I still haven't figured out why I should care in the slightest how other people accomplish their writing and if/what substance they're using at the same time. Can anyone sum that up for me?

Cranky
01-26-2010, 06:33 AM
I know I can't sum it up, icerose, but I know that *I* want a drink now. :D

kuwisdelu
01-26-2010, 06:34 AM
Having tried to follow this thread and failing miserable, I still haven't figured out why I should care in the slightest how other people accomplish their writing and if/what substance they're using at the same time. Can anyone sum that up for me?

If you don't understand it, then you're better off than most people ;)

Toothpaste
01-26-2010, 07:39 AM
Having tried to follow this thread and failing miserable, I still haven't figured out why I should care in the slightest how other people accomplish their writing and if/what substance they're using at the same time. Can anyone sum that up for me?

I think this thread began as a question based on a particular premise:

If you believe that drinking to aid in writing is wrong, then seeing teachers promote to students (or anyone in authority promoting to anyone under them) this notion as the best means to write, you might take issue with it.

The question began as one about "is it right to encourage people to drink in order to be a better writer". It devolved into an argument about morals and judgment. I think personally the initial question was an interesting one. If I was a teacher I think I would attempt to teach my students to be creative and also work to a deadline without a substance to get them there (and I include caffeine in this). The reason I would do that would be so that there wasn't anyone in the class that felt the romantic notion of an author with a snifter of whiskey was the only way to write. Many on this thread are asking where on earth is this idea even coming from, but it's a stereotype that I've seen everywhere personally.

I'd want to teach my students that BIC is the way to go.

However. If a student came up to me utterly crippled with fear at the idea of starting a new project, or emotionally wracked because of writer's block, I might suggest a drink to ease the nerves. I would probably suggest a walk first, talking it out with friends, but one glass of wine isn't going to hurt anyone. If said same student returned to school the next year a drunk, then I might say a word, but I truly don't believe a limited amount of alcohol to calm down is harmful.

At the same time, I think there are many artists constantly fighting stereotypes that you have to be poor, miserable, live in a garret, be addicted to some substance or other . . . that otherwise you can never be a true genius, and so I can see merit in a thread that discusses the fact that those things aren't necessary. But, I don't think a thread that judges others on their lifestyle is really helpful.

Do what works best for you. And don't judge others (and that goes both ways, not just the non-drinkers towards the drinkers).

timewaster
01-26-2010, 03:07 PM
[QUOTE=Toothpaste;4562690]I think this thread began as a question based on a particular premise:

If you believe that drinking to aid in writing is wrong, then seeing teachers promote to students (or anyone in authority promoting to anyone under them) this notion as the best means to write, you might take issue with it.

I don't know. In Uk creative writing isn't really a subject taught to children. I teach writing to adults and they are quite capable of deciding whether they want to drink coffee/wine all by themselves.
I don't have a particularly bohemian lifestyle but if I did I wouldn't worry that they might feel the need to emulate it. I think you vastly overstate the influence of tutors and our obligation. I teach writing not living.

maestrowork
01-26-2010, 03:17 PM
I don't care if my teacher drinks when she writes. But I do care if she tells us, "the only way to write well is to have a drink or two or three."

Rowan
01-26-2010, 03:18 PM
Just wanted to weigh in and say that it wasn't my intent to tell anyone how to live or infer that drinking is bad. Quite the contrary--I wouldn't give up wine for anything. And it seems some find the entire thread full of ridiculous shit...I don't. Like Toothpaste, I found many points quite interesting.

That said, my point was just that if I personally couldn't write without first having a drink then I would be curious/interested to know why... it's something I'd explore. But that's just me--my opinion and we all have 'em. :)

Over and out.

timewaster
01-26-2010, 04:01 PM
I don't care if my teacher drinks when she writes. But I do care if she tells us, "the only way to write well is to have a drink or two or three."

And would you believe her? Really? So much crap is spoken about writing process I think all students need to take all advice with a very large pinch of salt and a substantial dose of scepticism.

Alpha Echo
01-26-2010, 04:24 PM
I know I can't sum it up, icerose, but I know that *I* want a drink now. :D

I can't sum it up either, and now I want a drink too....and it's only 7:24 in the morning. lol :D

scarletpeaches
01-26-2010, 04:29 PM
I don't drink (maybe one drink a year, that's about it), and I don't think it affects my writing.

If alcohol is your thing, then it's your thing. But I personally don't think you need substances to help you write. That's my opinion.No, you personally don't think you need substances to help you write.

aruna
01-26-2010, 04:39 PM
Oh dear. Just two things I need to say:

1. I believe that the mythological connection between writing and drinking is just that, a myth, and a stereotype, and it doesn't mean that I or anyone else wants to ban everyone from ever drinking for evermore.

2. And anyway, heavy drinking, with or without writing, is mostly a cultural thing, concentrated in North America and Northern Europe. The habit of pub crawling, drinking till you fall over, etc, is for instance not a common feature of Italian evening life. And in Asia I bet there are very few writers who need to drink when they write. It's a habit; that's all. (And before the herd attacks: yes, I know there are heavy drinkers and alcoholics in EVERY culture, including Asia. It's just not considered cool there.)

Elaine Margarett
01-26-2010, 04:46 PM
My husband's family are big drinkers; especially the aunts. I don't drink (except the occasional glass of wine). I'm not against people drinking, I just don't want to be around them when they do. They are no where near as funny, or as witty as they *think* they are.

Seriously, drinking is a crutch. A legal crutch, but a crutch nonetheless.

scarletpeaches
01-26-2010, 05:04 PM
For you.

lucidzfl
01-26-2010, 05:43 PM
Oh dear. Just two things I need to say:

1. I believe that the mythological connection between writing and drinking is just that, a myth, and a stereotype, and it doesn't mean that I or anyone else wants to ban everyone from ever drinking for evermore.

2. And anyway, heavy drinking, with or without writing, is mostly a cultural thing, concentrated in North America and Northern Europe. The habit of pub crawling, drinking till you fall over, etc, is for instance not a common feature of Italian evening life. And in Asia I bet there are very few writers who need to drink when they write. It's a habit; that's all. (And before the herd attacks: yes, I know there are heavy drinkers and alcoholics in EVERY culture, including Asia. It's just not considered cool there.)

Its a religious thing throughout much of the heavily chinese influenced areas.

Japan, not so much. The fact that there are BILLIONS of chinese sways the odds.

Also, you mention heavy drinking, drinking while writing (assumedly less), alcoholics and falling over drunk. Within the same paragraph. Surely you can see why people assume you're lumping them all in togethor.

I would think people who can write while "falling over drunk" are in the VAST minority. I can't even EDIT properly if I've had more than three drinks. ( I found that out Sunday, lol )

But then, I have drinks, I don't "drink" when I write.

scarletpeaches
01-26-2010, 05:45 PM
Too many people think if you drink alcohol you're a drunk. I'd rather get pissed on vodka than self-righteousness.

Elaine Margarett
01-26-2010, 05:46 PM
For you.

Huh???

Or is that one of those witty retorts where you need to be drinking to appreciate it? <g>

scarletpeaches
01-26-2010, 05:48 PM
You said alcohol was a crutch. Maybe it is to you, but other grown-ups enjoy alcohol without drunkenness or dependency.

lucidzfl
01-26-2010, 05:55 PM
You said alcohol was a crutch. Maybe it is to you, but other grown-ups enjoy alcohol without drunkenness or dependency.

As I said somewhere upstream, I have at least one drink every single day. Truth be told, I usually have 2 or more.

I plan on doing this until a doctor tells me to stop. I love the taste of wine. I love the relaxation I get from it. Dependency? I think not. I'm no more dependent on real butter, or heavy cream, or untrimmed fat from red meat.

I'm an amateur chef, and I cook a LOT of french recipes and people might consider some of them unhealthy.

To anyone who thinks I'm unhealthy, kiss my arse! :)

Elaine Margarett
01-26-2010, 06:21 PM
Too many people think if you drink alcohol you're a drunk. I'd rather get pissed on vodka than self-righteousness.

I'm sure you would. :-)