Fear, focus, and the future. Here, C.M. Humphries writes about whatever.
A Test On Writing Drunk
Awhile back, I wrote this post on the benefits of writing drunk. Needless to say, it was popular topic that was soon followed by dozens of medical articles (at least, I was the #2 result on Google with friend results turned off) and tested by those who remained in disbelief.
Writing Drunk: An Ignorant Concept?
People have been drinking more and more lately, which can only mean one of two things:
1) I have more authors to compete with or
2) people are facing more stress and are teetering towards alcoholism.
I'm going to assume there are more authors out there now.
But Jennifer Wiley, leading researcher on the study of alcohol and creativity and professor of psychology at the University of Illinois - Chicago wasn't so sure there was a sufficient affect on creativity after reaching a .075% BAC.
So she tested it by administering cranberry vodka drinks, which are the apparent standard for these sorts of tests. I'm glad someone finally figured out which drink is most scientific. I really figured it would be a 7-Seas, Jager Bomb, or Crown N' Coke. Silly ol' me.
How did it turn out?
I know you're awaiting the results of this study, but here's something I might mention first. Wiley selected 40 21-23 year-old males who consumed 1 to 4 alcoholic beverages a week - and she did this not only through university volunteers but also an ad on CraigsList.
Rather than questions like III - III = III, she used creative patterns like the words falling, dust, actor.
The answer, by the way, is "star".
In this study, there were two groups, one of which was the alcohol control group. The idea was to study the difference between self-control and creativity. While being drunk is devastating when it comes to math, she found something quite interesting in her study's results.
The alcohol study rated subjects on how quickly they came up with the answer. There were 17 questions with a minute to answer each one. While some of the sober subjects rushed to make the deadline, the alcohol study group finished rather quickly.
On a scale on 1 to 7 (7 meaning the answer came immediately), most subjects rated their response high and said the answer was instinctive.
What Does This Mean?
It means I was right all along even before anyone really tested the hypothesis - nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.
The results of Wiley's experiment revealed creative answers are often quite simple to the mind of a drunkard. Unfortunately, it also showed that the aforementioned "instinct" is also what we encounter at bars when people rant on and on before they even have a think it through.
When you're drunk, you speak without thinking first. When you speak without speaking first, you feel confident and hook up with someone gorgeous. When you hook up with someone gorgeous, you find out they have a jealous significant other. When you find out they have a jealous significant other, you wind up in a ditch somewhere with no money, because you left you wallet in your parents but don't remember where your pants are. Don't wake in a ditch without your pants. Switch to Direct TV.
Dot . . . dot . . . dot . . . .
How does this apply to writing? Mostly, I'm just glad to see no one has made my previous blog erroneous. Secondly, it suggests (or maybe I'm doing the suggesting) writers can have quicker access to their creative side when they're just below the legal limit.
So go ahead, take a shot. You deserve it. Just make sure you scribble down every thought you have and try to create your artistic masterpiece under the influence of the ever-so scientific cranberry vodka elixir. Just remember to edit when you're sober . . . you're not going to be the most analytical person in the world after a few shots.
Side note: The intoxicated subjects were terrible at the memory portion. They had to remember words while try to solve math problems. Then again, who actually does this in real life? I mean, while I'm calculating my student loan numbers, there are only two words I ever remember.
"Mary Kate Daniher, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said she thinks the sober participants did not perform as well because they overthought the problems.
“'If you are intoxicated, you probably aren’t thinking very analytically,'” Daniher said. “'It’s more of a simple realization.'”
Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oi, Oi, Oi!
DO YOU EVER DRINK TO FIND CREATIVE INSPIRATION?
You Might Also Enjoy
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.