Writing under the influence?

A lot of writers and artists profess to writing while drinking a lot of coffee and sometimes alcohol.
Many other creators over the decades have created music and art while under the influence of mind altering drugs.
A recent survey found that editors/writers are the 4th heaviest consumers of coffee. Is this solely because they need to be up late at night to get any writing done – or is it simply a cheap and easy way to kick the writing brain into gear?
I don’t drink or smoke or take drugs. I limit myself to one coffee a day.
This might or might not seem odd to a lot of people, but my decision to abstain or limit these vices is purely for medical reasons (I have a history of heart arrhythmias) but to be honest I don’t think I’d produce very good writing if I had a few beers in me. It’s hard enough to focus the mind on fiction when I’m sober, so why would I want to hamper my synapses with alcohol (alcohol is a depressant after all)?
Or am I wrong? Do writers really feel different or more at ease with their prose while sipping from a brew – alcoholic or otherwise?
I’d be interested to hear some examples from authors on how coffee or alcohol has helped them with their writing – or hindered them?
At the end of the day, imagination is my drug and I’d gladly overdose on it anytime. J

About darkscrybe

Two-time international Bram Stoker Award-nominee®*, Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist based in Queensland, Australia. Greg is the author of several novels, novellas and short stories, including his award-nominated debut novel, Hollow House (Omnium Gatherum) and collections, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares (Specul8 Publishing) and This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories (Things in the Well Publications). He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, (McFarland & Company) written by authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® in 2013. He is also the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association. Greg lives in Rockhampton with his wife and their two daughters. * Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Hollow House (2016) and Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, for “The Book of Last Words” (2019)
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2 Responses to Writing under the influence?

  1. If I'm struggling with a scene a nice red wine at night helps the Muses swirl and deliver. I think it's because the relaxation of the body and mind allows the subconscious ideas to creep out from their cave.

  2. Greg Chapman says:

    That's interesting Cherie – so it's more of a relaxation thing than tackling writer's block?

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