Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Writers’ personality issues — booze, tobacco, drugs, and creativity

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There’s a nasty stereotype of writers hunched over their keyboards in a smoke-filled room, planted firmly in “The Zone,” creating tons of material in marathon writing sessions alleviated only by booze, drugs, and an occasional glass of milk.

Or something like that.

You’ve seen such imagery in movies and novels, I’m sure. It’s the “bad boy/bad girl behavior and excesses stimulate the creative juices” mentality of writing and art. Blasting through life with the after burners flaring seems to attract certain personality types, including those creative people who often strive to write. Too many young writers fall into the trap of thinking they will live forever and always have the mental edge it takes to write like demons. They give little or no thought to tomorrow and tomorrow’s career.

In real life, every writer I’ve known personally has either 1) never behaved even remotely like that, or, 2) managed to salvage their lives and careers by going through drug rehabilitation, alcohol rehabilitation, or a good, swift “kick” of proper diet and exercise followed by a major change in lifestyle.

We’ve gotten way past that destruction-means-creativity mentality for writers, haven’t we? My reason for bringing this up is that I fear young or new writers, especially in this age of celebrity gossip and entertainment 24/7 on the Internet and cable TV, may fall into such a trap.

Don’t let abusive or negligent behavior drain your creative resources. Keep your mind and body in shape and “clean” from all the garbage that’s out there to tempt you.

Now get busy and write something that’ll make us all proud of you.
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