A dear friend of mine can write some amazing speeches when almost drunk, but in a normal state he can’t get to that level.
I always said that it’s a matter of practice, diligence and so on, that we shouldn’t use this tricks to enhance our writing.
Looking back to these thoughs I must say that in 20 years I still agree with them, although now I would add a little bit more to the topic.
My friend is right: When he drank an extra glass of good gin he writes way better. So, for him, he has his good reasoning behind those choices.
He definitely tried to write in a normal state and failed.
And I’m sure he didn’t try only once. He’s a stubborn guy. He tried many times.
How to move from this? Well, creativity can be guided as much as any skill in the world. What’s he missing then? He’s missing the link, the ignition, the element that make that creativity spark.
He can try to write, but what he’s really missing is how to enter the creative state.
Right now that creative state is based upon drinking.
That is the first element, but I’m sure he also uses his drinking to get into a deeper emotional state, to let the social shields down, to not judge what he’s writing.
Those three additional elements are probably keys to his success. Drinking makes them surface easier and I’m sure that if we could work on these elements, he would be able to write amazing things without the need to drink.
Afterall our brains uses neural connections to learn. When we first learn guitar the finger movement is a new neural connection that the brain has yet to automate. Once we do it for many times the brain knows that, when we light up a specific neural starting point, we want to play a C-minor.
While with the guitar we have a clear path in front of us, here with writing and emotions we have something radically different that doesn’t have a map.
That’s why we have to learn what makes us tick, what makes us enter into a creative state, and by triggering it more often we can eventually learn to summon that state when we need it.