Drunk Writing For Writer’s Block

I’ve done it. I’ve done it multiple times. If you’re in college you’ve probably done it inadvertently a handful of times to. If you haven’t done it, this post is for you.

I’ve encountered a lot of writers block in my own life and out there in the world of bloggers. This is especially the case as week three of NaNo comes to a close. There are some ways of breaking the block, I’ll probably save them for another post, but drunk writing is always the best. But I’m not talking about getting a little tipsy after a glass of wine and feeling warm, that’s good too, I’m talking about being buzzed and a little more and in no condition to drive.

I don’t usually recommend doing the writer drunk:edit sober technique when things are flowing well. It seems like a good idea but it’s not.

Why it’s good:

There’s no inhibition. Having a glass of wine does nothing for me. I have a high tolerance even though I rarely drink. I opt for about 4 glasses of wine to get into this mindset or 4 beers with an abv of around 6 or 7%. If you know what I’m talking about alcohol wise, this is a lot. I’m not driving. But I am going to sit down and write and write and write. There’s nothing holding me back, there’s no self consciousness, no internal editor saying “you’re spelling wrong jackass”, and no shame.

I used it on UpMeDownMe and I wrote just several thousand words while drinking another beer and the words flowed. I felt great and also a little malicious so I thought laterally and approached the book itself in a new way. Far too often when I was writing it, the book would just form a haze in my mind. And though I always knew what was going to happen next, it seemed off. It started to wear me down to a nub. Beer solved that.

Bad:

All those pages that I wrote accomplished only two things. One, about a page of written material that had to be rewritten multiple times for it to form a coherent thought. I’m just going to dump on NaNo WriMo for a second here. {NaNo is drunk writing. It’s writing with nothing holding you back and no editing. If I’m forcing writing, it comes out only marginally better than drunk writing. In fact, I often drink when I can’t write because drunk writing has better ideas than the stilted output of forced writing. And I’m having fun.} Drunk writing, really drunk writing, though it’s always been that panacea for writer’s block, needs severe editing and rewriting. There’s no way on earth I can use the dialog from drunk writing. And there’s little in the way of prose that works even though I often think it’s great when drunk.

It’s not just write drunk, edit sober, it’s rewrites and often taking a machete to what’s written.

Also, the next day, whether hungover or not, you’ll have diminished cognitive returns. This is not a good way to continue a book or a short story or a poem. You want to be fresh every day and alert. Undoing that is your own undoing.

Lastly, it breaks the flow of your writing. If you’re doing fine, keep all that in your head and keep writing. Drunk writing is just going to break things up. It’ll ruin the momentum of what you’ve set in place.

Half and half.

This is having a glass of wine or a beer while working. I find that this helps when I have an idea. It lubricates me and the ideas slide out a little easier. It does form tangents, but what doesn’t. I’m a fan of a beer here and there and editing the next day.

But it doesn’t help with a case of writer’s block. I’ll still stare at the screen blinking at the slightly reddish hue that used to have a blue tint. Something stronger is needed.

How drunk writing works when spiked with coffee or caffeine pills? Let me know. I’m interested.

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4 responses to “Drunk Writing For Writer’s Block

  1. I’ve written drunk (actually stoned is even better), but I’ve written most of my work after a couple of cups of coffee. I can’t write without coffee, at least not during the day. But I can’t say that I’ve ever mixed any of the above and actually been able to write.

    • I can’t write without coffee either. I wrote this before having coffee and I was struggling to read the page. For a while I went off of it and switched to tea, then I had a cup of coffee and I felt like an idiot for ever leaving the dark lord.

      Also, alternatives to drunk writing that includes coffee:
      Coffee + Ativan. Yeah. Amazing. I write so much
      Coffee + Gabapentin. Mmm. Coffee without shaking or hyperactivity or anxiety, just output and unable to do anything other than outputting. Glorious.

      • “..the dark lord.” hahaha.
        I don’t usually do pills – don’t have any because I don’t need them. But certain antihistimines act in me like 10 cups of coffee. I’ve never tried to write on one of them though – not sure I could sit still long enough.
        *looks up gabapentin on google*

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