Originally Posted by gmw
In my experience: In small(ish) doses it can. Too much and I can't concentrate and nothing gets done. But a couple of drinks over dinner seems to often be enough to let me relax back into the story. I seem to write faster and be less easily distracted (by this forum for example
). But then I mostly only write at night, I don't think I'd like to become dependent on such stimulus, especially if I ever had the chance to become a full-time writer.
That study focused on low dosages, so there might be something to it. I can't see someone writing a masterpiece while falling down drunk.
On a related note, Carl Sagan's biographer talked of how Sagan would get some of his best ideas while smoking pot (his widow is on the board of NORML) and then to have gone on to refine many of those ideas with a clear head. Sure, in the cold light of day he threw out the vast majority of those pipe dream insights as worthless, but he claimed to occasionally have stumbled upon a real gem. In one of his books (I believe either The Dragons of Eden
or Broca's Brain
) he presented his theory as to how marijuana worked: not by enhancing the right brain (artistic/intuitive/creative side), but by suppressing the left, logical brain. He likened the right brain to the stars: always shining in the sky, but not noticeable until after sundown.