Monday, February 4, 2013

Writing Under The Influence

It seems in order to really be qualified to write a Great American Novel, you have a to have a few qualifications under your belt.

One of them being writing under the influence.
I mean, just take a look at a few authors. Lewis Carroll? Hunter S. Thompson? Truman Capote? Edgar Allen Poe? Ernest Hemingway? Charles Dickens?

So, if I wasn't really thinking, I would have added 'write under the influence' to my list of "How to Become a Person Who Sells Excellent Books, and Does Not Live In A Cardboard Box".
But I don't really want to destroy multitudes of brain cells, nor do I want to pickle my liver for the sake of ahhht.

If that makes me a bad person, I do apologize in advance.

However, I think that something or someone is conspiring against me. Maybe the ghost of Faulkner. Because if I'm not too careful, I think I will be writing under the influence.

Let me explain.
I've been working at New Job for a couple of weeks now, and it is a lovely place. Really. My coworkers are really sweet, my bosses are darlings, and they let me listen to music when I work (YAY!). The fact that the work isn't terribly fascinating is actually okay with me- I don't plan on being here forever, but it's a great in-between place, especially while I'm in graduate school.

The building New Job is in is pretty cute and little. It's on a side-street, off of a bigger street, with lots of funky little shops and restaurants. The building itself is three floors with a basement- I think it once upon a time was some sort of townhouse or something. The basement and main floor are offices, and the two floors on top are residential apartments.

And someone in one of those residential apartments has a pot problem.

How do I know that? You ask, tapping your chin, glaring at me suspiciously. No, I've never been upstairs, nor have I ever seen any of the people who live up there. But the ventilation system in the building is such that the vent from upstairs ends in my office. And when the good neighbor upstairs decides it's time to smoke a joint or two (approximately every other day), the entire office is bathed in the smell of pot.

Now, I don't think you can actually get high from second-hand pot smoke, but sometimes, I'm not sure. Like when I start getting all dizzy and fuzzy-headed, coincidentally around the same time a certain someone is smoking. Next time ol' pothead upstairs decides to start puffing, maybe I'll open up a new Word document and start typing, just to see what happens.

I've always wondered about the things people will do to get into the creative zone, and if their creativity REALLY improves, or if it's just a placebo. And if it does improve, do the short-term benefits outweigh the long-term consequences? Is it one of those things that starts out of desperation, but ends up working, and is taken over and over again until it's a full-blown addiction? Or was the creativity only discovered while high on something?

Tell me: have you ever written under the influence? Influence of what? What happened? 
And should I try writing slightly tipsy? (Drunk isn't my thing either...) High on sugar? Inhale helium? Should I get some spray paint and inhale enough fumes to make me dizzy? Tell me-I will be your guinea pig... (and maybe live-Tweet the experiment.)


PS: I have opinions on all sorts of things, I just don't know which ones you would be interested in hearing about. Anything you want me to write about? Comment to let me know :) The blog is relatively new, so whatever you want to read, I will see if I can accommodate you by writing it. Because left alone, it will probably be a mix of books that look good or were good (I don't know how good of a reviewer I am, so I don't know if that's gonna happen), updates on the Not-Yet-Named-Novel, monologues about the subway and other fun people watching activities, perhaps some occasional poetry?, some fun/interesting/thought-provoking psychology-related topic, and the occasional rant on whatever gets me mad. Also words of encouragement and virtual hugs.
And cookies.
Because they taste good.


  1. I find that if you blog about what you want to write about, you're more likely to blog more often and better than if you write what you think people would like to hear. So go with your ideas and pursue them passionately! :)

    I know what you mean about writers historically seeming to be under the influence. I don't drink. I seem to be under the influence of my own brain, which may be scarier.

    1. True :) its not what people want to hear, necessarily in a way that I tailor what I say as to not offend people, but in the way that I'll talk about pretty much anything, and can always use a prompt or question, because why not ;)

      That's one of the reasons I don't drink excessively- I'm weird enough without any help :)
      Thanks for reading! -KK