Writing and drinking and drugs, oh my

Life put together a gallery of famous literary drunks and drug addicts. While the whole is pretty interesting (although some are pretty standard--Hemingway was a drunk!), my favorite is about Stephen King:
In his 2000 memoir, On Writing, King revealed that he'd been so shattered by his alcohol and drug abuse in the 1980s that, even today, he cannot remember working on many of the books he wrote back then. There were times when he'd been doing so much blow that he wrote with cotton wads stuffed in his nostrils, to prevent blood dripping on his typewriter.
That is a new fact for me. And it is kind of messed up.


  1. This post makes me feel better about myself. My only addictions are coffee and peanut butter.

  2. I didn't know that Louisa May Alcott was an addict, but I did know that about Stephen King.

  3. So, you haven't yet read King's book On Writing where he admits to those details...

    I laughed out loud at HST's listed vices, "EVERYTHING", and Ayn Rand was even less attractive than I'd thought...

  4. I had this planned for my blog:( Oh well, "Life" beat me to it. They missed a few, at least of the known ones. Ha, that makes me feel better.

    Some of my favorite writers were addicts.

  5. This list makes me sad for these authors ... how unhappy they must have been. Granted, most of them lived in an era when self-medication was the only solution for any kind of mental illness, be it mild depression or bipolar disorder or what have you. I'm certain at least some of them must have struggled with that.

  6. You need to read on to where King's family has an intervention with him.

    As a post-addicted writer, I cannot understand how these people created such amazing books while they were drunk/high/strung-out/whatever. I did heroin for 6 years and don't think I typed more than 10 words in the entire time. It's like drugs sapped my creativity. This is the case with other people I know who've gotten clean as well.

    And just so you know, I have been sober for a while now, and I started getting back into writing maybe 5 months after I got sober.