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Writing and ‘artificial stimulants’ in general — just coffee, thanks


I’m not exactly sure why my mind turned to this subject, but here we are. As a writer, do you rely on any “artificial stimulants” when you do your work? That is, do you feel the need for anything from a soda to mind-altering drugs when you are writing?

Just coffee works for me, thanks. Okay, an occasional diet soda or some nicely chilled green tea works, too.

It has always amazed me to read of very famous authors, and very successful best-selling authors, who I discover used everything from cocaine to pot to just plain tobacco products to “stimulate” their creative juices, or perhaps just keep them mentally active, to get their writing done.

Inevitably, most of those writers either kill or hurt themselves — or simply burn out and drop by the wayside in their writing careers.

It would seem to me, especially in a day when most folks are aware of the evils of this stuff (the marketplace is flooded with every thing from e-cigarettes to special chewing gum just to help people break their nicotine habits), that serious writers now realize the “folly of the fix,” I guess you could say.

To put this plainly: Alcohol, cigarettes, pot, cocaine, and any other of these drugs and various chemical nasties don’t help your creativity. Some people still THINK they do, but the truth is, such stuff destroys your brain cells, destroys your creativity.

2 Responses to “Writing and ‘artificial stimulants’ in general — just coffee, thanks”

  1. anonymous says:

    Hah, tell that to Stephen King.

  2. Endymion says:

    I’m afraid I have to take issue with this article – if you’re going to write, then put in the effort.

    There’s actually a nice study to show that cannabis DOES increase your creativity, contrary to what you say. Semantic priming is the associative, linguistic web of connections that arises in response to a word stimulus. More associations were elicited in response to a word stimulus when cannabis was consumed by the participants.
    Such associations form the basis of creative thought. Furthermore, psychedelic experiences can themselves form the basis of an idea or inspiration for a topic.

    Finally, you should know that not all psychoactives are harmful as long as they are used in moderation. “The dose makes the poison,” said Paracelsus. They can be a valuable tool.