Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are often dead ends. In college, I wrote most of my papers with a bottle of whiskey close by. By the time I was 22 yrs. old, I was deeply in trouble.
I watched a new acquaintance struggle to write an English paper. He used to be a fluent writer but got waylaid by crystal meth. It was hard to watch him try to put words on the page.
Another friend, a recovering drug addict watched his writing disappear as heroin hit his bloodstream, for a number of years.
Celebrities are no exception. Hemingway, Carver, Sinclair Lewis and others suffered from alcoholism. One, Carver, recovered.
But it is a temptation as we battle our demons to create our art. But it is a dead end. I used alcohol to cap the mania– before they had drugs.
Many of us, poets especially, have mood disorders that are now treatable. Also walking and other exercises, as well are getting enough sleep and eating nutritious food (I am still working on that one) also help a lot. My favorite tool is the morning pages that Julia Cameron wrote about in The Artist’s Way. You write as quickly as you can three pages first thing in the morning. It has helped me a lot.
Also Pennybaker’s work on writing on trauma is useful. Write about a bad experience and write what happened and how you felt. Do that for several days and you will feel better, according to this theory.
Also writing a couple of pages about someone you love is also a powerful mood alternator.
But drugs and alcohol– doesn’t work for very long and the price is too high. Narcotics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous are free and meetings are everywhere.
If you are flattened by depression or bipolar disorder, check out the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance groups. There is probably one in your city. It keeps me stable and we help each other out of depressions. The support is vital to staying even while writing your book.