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I don't know if this is a generalization, but I've noticed that all the writers that I know tend to drink heavily, or at least more than I would have expected. I'm always a bit surprised since most of them are quite socially reserved. It seems like plenty of the most famous novelists have had struggles with alcohol.

I was reading an interesting article about this:
WHEN NOVELISTS SOBER UP | More Intelligent Life

Why do you think this is? Are you a writer, and how often do you drink? Does drinking affect the quality of your writing (negatively or positively)? Do you drink while you write? Are certain MBTI types more prone to drinking? Are INFPs?
 

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I stopped drinking when I turned 21. I partied hard when I first moved out and then when I turned 21 and found dancing I didn't really have an urge to drink any more. So I don't drink when I write. It's like trying to dance after a few drinks. Your craft tends to suck if you're not sober and all you can really do is emote.

I don't think drinking has much to do with MBTI type. Much of drinking really stems from not wanting to be yourself for a little bit (ie loosen up, be more courageous, etc.) So the ones who least like who they are currently are most likely to take up activities that make them less of who they are. That could be any MBTI type.
 

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I wouldn't just say alcohol.
I think many writers tend to be addicts, in general.
I would venture this has less to do with a need to escape one's self, but more to do with a need to escape one's writing. Writing is often so consuming that a stoppage of writing does little to distance a writer from their work. A good writer has to be obsessive and deliver meaning with their words, likewise a writer's escape is often times as equally obsessive.
 

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Slyth... I think there may be something to the INFP and novelist being likely to seek some type of numbing of consciousness. Years back, when browsing the MBTI manual, I was surprised to read that INFPs are more likely than the average person to have substance abuse problems. I was surprised because I'm an INFP and never had any such issues. But when one realizes that INFPs, out of all the types, are perhaps the most disconnected from, and therefore the most frustrated by, external reality--it makes sense both that they would create imaginary worlds through fiction, and also that they would be tempted to escape normal consciousness by means of intoxication. The same would apply to the novelist--as he or she seems to be drawn to creating alternative realities, it may be that along with such an inclination often comes the urge to escape reality in other ways, such as drinking.

Of course, one or more forms of intoxicant or consciousness-altering substances have been extensively used in every culture of any size throughout history. So let's not make the mistake of seeing either novelists or INFPs as unusual in the desire for a little relaxation or mental vacation. But even slightly higher rates, or intensities or frequencies, of certain behaviors can be interesting to think about...

As to whether drinking helps the writing process, I would say this: Alcohol cannot make a bad writer into a good writer. It can, however, sometimes help a good or great writer get over some of his insecurities or anxieties and conscious worries, so that on a given day his underlying talent is liberated and able to come out and play. Will some of the spelling and dialogue or other details be a little sloppy? Yes, depending on how much alcohol is involved. But that can be edited the next day, when stone sober. Also, no matter how brilliant is a writer, if he drinks a gallon of whiskey at a sitting, he's not going to produce anything more remarkable than vomit. But for some writers, if used in the right amounts, I'm confident that alcohol has sometimes helped.

It happens that I'm an INFP and a writer, and I rarely have a drink while writing, though sometimes I'll sip on a glass of wine. But neither I nor anyone in my family has ever had alcohol problems, so perhaps there's something far more intense about alcohol intoxication for some others... Perhaps, when drinking, there's a "fire in the blood" that helps and hurts such people in ways I can't relate to.
 

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I think that there is a correlation between writers and addictive personalities, as others have mentioned. I write but I have never had a single drink in my life. The preferred addiction may vary among writers, especially between those of different nations, as alcoholism is more prevalent in some societies and less in others (particularly in nations where alcohol is not considered acceptable to ever drink).
 

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I think Ernest Hemmingway had it right: I am a man, I am not allowed to feel emotion but I am also a writer who must feel emotions in order to create. So I drink.

I'm writing a novel at the moment and, with the exception of the occasional whisky, I haven't had a drink since I ended up in hospital with a suspected stomach ulcer.
 
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I stopped drinking when I turned 21. I partied hard when I first moved out and then when I turned 21 and found dancing I didn't really have an urge to drink any more. So I don't drink when I write. It's like trying to dance after a few drinks. Your craft tends to suck if you're not sober and all you can really do is emote.

I don't think drinking has much to do with MBTI type. Much of drinking really stems from not wanting to be yourself for a little bit (ie loosen up, be more courageous, etc.) So the ones who least like who they are currently are most likely to take up activities that make them less of who they are. That could be any MBTI type.
Get off your high horse, Bro. Attach a link to your published works or stuff it.
 

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@unclebigs: Why the hostility toward @infpblog?

I happen to disagree, at least in theory, that alcohol consumption couldn't be correlated with MBTI type. Of course it's correlated more strongly with a lot of other factors. But it makes sense that people who are less in step with society or more emotionally vulnerable would need to develop coping strategies, and one ineffective coping strategy many people use is to self-medicate with alcohol.
 

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Hunter S. Thompson.

lol.

He's my fav writer & before he shot himself his substance abuse probs were well documented. But I doubt he was an INFP and is only one example out of all writers out there.
 

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"Writing involves fantasy; alcohol promotes fantasy. Writing requires self-confidence; alcohol bolsters confidence. Writing is lonely work; alcohol assuages loneliness. Writing demands intense concentration; alcohol relaxes."

I agree with this, and yes, I am a writer who has consumed more than whats healthy at times.
 

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I drink seldom alcohol...
but.. the best week in 2011 was my computer, my book to finish and a bottle of Makers Mark -.-'
 

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Alcohol draws a blurry fumble over my writing. i can't write if i have anything over one glass of wine and to be honest i wouldn't ever want to write and drink. i think writers, as others have said, probably have drinking/substance abuse problems for inspiration over creation OR because they feel the world doesn't "get" them...something i'm sure most INFPs can relate to.
 

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Not every writer is alcoholic. But i think that urge to write always comes from some inner tension or pain. You can write just because you want to write, you can even be a decent novelist. But notice, that those true literall giants were almost always complicated and often intoxicated. Because writing is one way how to deal with your inner daemons, but alcohol or drugs are always there, if you need them. . . . You might notice, that not every artist in generall was abusing some of those substances. But the best imho were, because it is just so hard to live with all the tension and pain and struggling. And those are things that are necessery for great artist, by my opinion. And one more thing - when you sacrifice yourself to art, you will have to live very insecure life, because of lack of money and things like that . . . So alcohol is also a way how to deal not only with your inner self, but outside world as well.
 

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I don't know if most writers drink, or if it correlates to MBTI in any specific way.
All I can tell you is by the title of this thread, it reeks of me.
I am a living piece of Auto-destructive art.
 

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Get off your high horse, Bro. Attach a link to your published works or stuff it.
The New York Quarterly - Issue 57

It was kind of strange seeing my name on the same page as Charles Bukowski. Then I lost all motivation to write poetry after that issue came out. I think I only started submitting to prove I could get name into something that published a poet I admired.

It's ironic that Bukowski drank like fish. But I think good alcholic writers are the exception and not the rule.
 

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Hemingway said it best: Write drunk. Edit sober. I agree with him. Drinking helps open up my creativity, and this helps me with my writing. Things seem to flow more, ideas come to me quicker, sometimes they come so quick I can't harness all my thoughts in time to write them all down. It helps me, but I wouldn't reccomend it for everyone.
 

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I stopped drinking when I turned 21. I partied hard when I first moved out and then when I turned 21 and found dancing I didn't really have an urge to drink any more. So I don't drink when I write. It's like trying to dance after a few drinks. Your craft tends to suck if you're not sober and all you can really do is emote.

I don't think drinking has much to do with MBTI type. Much of drinking really stems from not wanting to be yourself for a little bit (ie loosen up, be more courageous, etc.) So the ones who least like who they are currently are most likely to take up activities that make them less of who they are. That could be any MBTI type.
I like this reply. However, please remember that alcoholics have the alcoholic gene and really can't put the drink down if they tried. I KNOW i don't have this gene but if I did I would feel as if alcoholic was the answer to ALL of my problems. It is, until you hit rock bottom.
 
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