We use a pencil inscribed with it, but just how helpful is the ‘Write Drunk, Edit Sober’ adage?

Thankfully, our friends in science have looked into that for us.

Various studies have examined the effects of alcohol on creativity, and the results suggest that it can be beneficial… to a point.

Scientists have shown that having a couple of drinks makes you less focused, which in turn frees up your brain to think more creatively.

The benefits, however, decrease as the alcohol consumption goes up.

But, while booze is beneficial for generating ideas, it’s not so good for the execution of them; try coffee for that.

Read about one of the key alcohol and creativity studies via Chicago Mag, and/or the study itself.

Oh, and Quote Investigator has got a comprehensive post on the source of the alleged Ernest Hemingway quote, ‘Write Drunk, Edit Sober’.

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Going off on a bit of a tangent… did you know that in 1995, NASA – inspired by a 1948 experiment by pharmacologist Peter N Witt – gave house spiders (Araneus diadematus) various drugs, from caffeine to LSD to sleeping pills, and then analysed the webs they spun?!

The basic result was: “The more toxic the chemical, the more deformed a web looks in comparison with a normal web.”

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