There is a common misconception in our culture that creative people need a little extra help to be ‘creative’. In the passage below Stephen King debunks that idea. He speaks as one who has been there. Did he need ‘drinking and drugging’ to write well? He answers that question below:
In the middle of the 1980s Stephen King’s life was spiraling out of control, his body saturated with alcohol and drugs. After years of self-denial and an ultimatum by his wife and family, King writes in his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“The idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time.”
“I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to work anymore if I quit drinking and drugging, but I decided (again, so far as I was able to decide anything in my distraught and depressed state of mind) that I would trade writing for staying married and watching the kids grow up. If it came to that. It didn’t, of course. The idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time. The four twentieth-century writers whose work is most responsible for it are probably Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, and the poet Dylan Thomas. They are the writers who largely formed our vision of an existential English-speaking wasteland where people have been cut off from one another and live in an atmosphere of emotional strangulation and despair. These concepts are very familiar to most alcoholics; the common reaction to them is amusement. Substance-abusing writers are just substance abusers—”
Related insight from scripture.
Proverbs 3:21-23 (NLT 3rd ed.)
21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, 22 for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. 23 They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.
- Writing Tips From Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ (kristinoffiler.wordpress.com)