Let’s call it a social experiment for the purpose of this post (in other words, I had a few drinks while writing this! 🙂 ) and reflect on why it is that people often do their best writing (or indeed other creative pursuits) when they’re drunk or on drugs?
As a writer I’m constantly scribbling down thoughts or ideas on any scrap of paper (or napkin, or menu) I can find and often these occur at weird hours of the night or like I said above, when I’ve had a drink. Surprisingly, the ones I write at night make no sense in the morning and I can’t for the life of me, remember why I thought they were so brilliant at the time. To experiment, I decided to write the other night while I was standing at a bar drinking wine. I would put the paper away when I got home and would then read it the next day and see if my thoughts were coherent. I was thrilled with the result: logical and very philosophical. This post is the product of that experiment.
Personally, I believe that such works can be attributed to the fact that a person’s thoughts are clear instead of being clouded by the inhibitions that are normally present in everyday life. Once the alcohol or drugs are in their system and starting to work their magic, their inhibitions melt away and they realize what they truly want, what they can do and who they can be without worrying about anyone or anything else. In other words, they are finally listening to their heart and not to what their head is telling them.
I have been told many a time that I think far too much and that I should listen more to my heart. Some people prefer to use the term, ‘gut instinct.’ Whatever word you use, the idea is the same. When you listen to your heart, rather than your head, you will always be true to yourself.
After the other night I now have a list of things I want to achieve this year (yeah okay, so I’m a bit late with the New Year’s Resolutions, but I got there, didn’t I?). The majority of the things are related to hobbies or interests I am extremely passionate about. Such things are often considered to be only dreams by some people and therefore not achievable. I beg to differ. By clearing stating your goals, dreams and ambitions, you have taken the first step to achieving them. You can go one step further by then writing these down. These words that you speak from the heart then have the power to become true.
The Japanese have a word for this concept: kotodama (言霊), which basically refers to the power of words, either written or spoken. Thus, whatever we say and indeed, even think really, must be carefully considered before we speak it aloud. Koto (言) means word or speech and dama (霊) means spirit or soul. The Japanese believe that we should never underestimate the power of words and that words actually create our present circumstances.
In the West, we tend to feel that only written words hold sway (e.g. legally-binding contracts etc.), yet the Japanese clearly show that spoken agreements or words are just as powerful. You can always erase words on paper or on a computer or phone, yet words, once spoken can never be taken back.
So there you have it: the musings of a clear mind I do believe, not a hazy one. What does everyone else think?