Does Sobriety Affect Your Creativity?

More often than not, it seems that some of the most creative people consequently fall victim to addiction.

After all, it was Ernest Hemingway who coined the phrase “write drunk; edit sober.” With a proclamation such as that, it begs the question of whether or not addiction and substance abuse actually unleashes the creativity within – or if it does, in fact, end up stifling one’s potential to effectively create.

One case that disproves Hemingway’s motto was painter Jackson Pollock, who had a lifetime struggle with alcoholism. Critics of his consider his finest work to be from 1948 to 1950 – which was also the only time in his life when he was completely sober.

Moreover, perhaps one of the most well-known and widely read authors of present day, Stephen King, often reminds us that he has been in recovery since the 1980s. Having admitted that he might not be here today had it not been for getting clean, he has still been able to publish books and write without problem. Some even say that his work has improved since giving up drugs and alcohol.

Neuroscientist David Lindon, author of The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning and Gambling Feel So Good, has stated that he does not believe that there is a connection between addiction and creativity. Not only that, he also laments in his book, that ceasing to continue substance abuse does not affect one’s innate creativity and ability to express themselves.

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