It seems to be an ongoing debate as to whether one should be doing their writing completely clear headed or in a specific state of mind. Some writers argue they do their best writing while under the influence of various drugs or alcohol and still others argue the opposite. It’s a well known fact that some very famous and successful (although short-lived) authors either found much of their inspiration, focus or perhaps fluidity in writing while under the influence of a veritable cocktail of chemicals, but the question remains unanswered as to what kind of work they would have produced had they remained clear of them.
While reading some of the writing tips on the website of what is perhaps my favorite author, C.J. Cherryh, she maintains the perspective that writing novels and developing your skill requires the clearest of thinking and that one must have their wits about them. Indeed, I have to say that looking back at the writing I produced at various points over the years, I cant deny that any substance abuse that took place during various points in my life absolutely impacted the style. Whether or not it impacted the quality? I’m not altogether sure. I certainly wouldn’t even attempt to string together a novel while under the influence let alone try to tie up a story line in a neat and tidy little package with no loose ends at the end of the book. One thing I can perhaps support is the idea that ones imagination is let loose just that little bit more at times and sometimes giving it a little nudge to do so can lead to some unexpected ideas. Personally I prefer working on my writing in the wee hours of the morning. The world is quieter so I can hear myself think. If you think back to how many times you may have worried about monsters under the bed as a child, or gotten out of bed to double check the locks as an adult, there’s no denying the fact that the imagination comes alive at night.