Saturday, February 11, 2012

Write with wine and edit with coffee

"Life was meant to be; fun, easy and abundant"

Some days I do think the Cosmic Jokester (some of you call him God) really loves me and wants me to be happy!   To explain first let me tell you a little story...

One night I was at home alone with my wine and a movie.   Truth be told the wine was so fine that I had consumed more than my usual allotment (never mind I'm telling you what that is).   I had left my laptop on and several times heard that little sound that tells you that you have a message.   I decided to check it as I had been sharing messages earlier with an attractive lady.

As I made my way to the computer I was aware of the wine's effect on me.   However, I was enjoying it immensely so I brought my traveling companion (a glass of wine) with me.   Sure enough Ms Beautiful was messaging me again.   As I consumed my fine wine, we exchanged what I thought was some very creative and hillarious messages. 

The next morning when I awoke with a cloudy brain I suddently remembered our messaging from the previous night.   Oh no, I thought, I wonder if I blew it?    In my morning stupor I lay in bed thinking what stupid things I might have said.   So I got up and headed to the computer to check the sent messages, afraid of what I might find.    We all know (at least those of us who enjoy the bubbly) that when intoxicated we can say and do stupid things.   So what did I find?

I'm brilliant when I'm all winned up!   Ok, my spelling goes downhill and punctuation was perverse.   But what the hey,   it made sense and it did qualify I thought, as...witty and creative!   She'll never know my condition at the time (unless she reads this).

Now here's where it gets interesting...

This morning I stumbled upon a research article that states that we ARE more creative when we are drunk or sleepy.   Some of the great writers from the past like Hemmingway knew this.  That brilliant writer is quoted as saying....'Write drunk, edit sober''.   But I'm sure the prudes of the day scoffed at their inebriated claims.  

Here is how it works..

Your brain when its functioning normally ignores ideas and connections that are not likely solutions.  This is because there is just so much information to consider that it would be inefficient to consider what we know is obviously wrong.   However when it comes to creative work our brains work better without that kind of focus.   It's when we are open to all things that the creative connections are made.  And when we are under the influence our mind has difficulty staying on a narrow focus like we do when thinking annalytically sober. 

How much more creative?

In the study 43% of the sober subjects solved the puzzles given.   Now hold onto your wine glass for this....the drinkers solved 82% of the puzzles.   Doesn't that just rock your boat?  Almost twice as good at creative problem solving as our sober friends!   Really this shouldn't come as that big of a surprise since we all know we feel smarter (and better looking) when we are drinking.

Now when it comes to editing we need that sober brain.  Mine is sharper after it has been jolted with my morning java.   Soooo that is why I say.........write with wine and edit with coffee.

The bad news...

No I'm not going to talk about the evils of wine or any other spiked beverage.    No, the bad news is that the researchers got the same kind of result with subjects who were distracted by being over tired.  Again the brain finds it difficult to ignore the unlikely thoughts and associations that a sober and well rested brain would normally do.   Damn....were's the fun in that?

Time for some mind reading..

You big brain is left with the burning question....was he drinking when he wrote this?    The answer're bonkers if you think I'll tell you!

P.S. One night mi amigo Juan Pedro and I were being very friendly with the vino and were having a spritited creative conversation.   Knowing that we wouldn't remember our creative solutions in the morning, I got pen and paper to record our brilliance.   Great thoughts flowed and by the time we stumbled off to bed, I was satisfied we had solved most of the worlds problems.   The next morning I hurried to the family room to retrive the previous nights insights.   There it was one entire nights recordings....only one problem....I couldn't read the chicken scrawl that was my polluted penmanship!


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