Thursday, April 14, 2016

Coffee as LSD

Zestful Blog Post #156

I know not every writer enjoys coffee. Some unfortunate souls must abstain for religious reasons (which, like, easy solution, just switch religions, right?); some have health issues and others are actually allergic (which, total pity).

But for the rest of us the bean might as well BE a sacrament. I love to read about the history of coffee, and I love to come across random coffee facts, such as Union soldiers chewed the beans for energy in the Civil War. I think the Atlantic blockades kept it from the Confederacy. And some still wonder why they lost?

Caffeine’s a drug—a stimulant—and an overdose will kill a person. I mentioned LSD in the title of this post. LSD is a hallucinogen, of course, which lots of seekers have used to open their creativity chakras or whatever. When I was in college I badly wanted to try LSD but rumor had it that a lot of the current supply was contaminated with PCP (horse anesthetic, basically), so I never did it. (Everything else, yes.) The thing is, if you’re open to it, coffee, like LSD, can make you a better writer.

[The Snow Peak double-walled titanium mug keeps your beverage hot for a long time, which is good if your office is upstairs and the instant-hot and microwave are downstairs. The other one is my politically incorrect because of animal abuse mug, but I really like it anyway and the elephant is no longer in pain. I know I should somehow make it so there’s a link to these cups which if you click them I’ll get money, but screw it.]

Research suggests the experience is diluted if you put in sugar and milk. So make it black, and don’t waste it by drinking it first thing in the morning, simply to help wake up. Use weak tea or something for your first hit of caffeine. Hydrate by drinking water before and after breakfast. Save a good strong cup of black for when you’re ready to write. (Tim Ferris’s The Four-Hour Body turned me on to adding a shake of Vietnamese cinnamon for flavor and better blood sugar levels throughout the day.) The key is to write continuously as the coffee takes hold. Let images of misty mountainsides, glossy green leaves, and giant friendly pollinating bees course through your mind, and know you’re partaking of something mysterious and glorious. Feel the high, feel the mental incisiveness. Keep your writing going. Expect magic. Enjoy your trip.

What's your writing drug of choice? To post, click below where it says, 'No Comments,' or '2 Comments,' or whatever.

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  1. Sugar? Cream? Pseudo cream? And freaking 'adornments?'


    Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Pass me that IV needle, please.

  2. I always drink my coffee with cream and sugar. But willing to give drinking black a try when I'm ready to write.

  3. Give it a try and let us know how it goes...

  4. I love my coffee, too. I grew up with parents who drank a lot of it, so it's only natural that I do, too. It's my writing drug of choice, as well. I even have a little electric cup warming thing on my desk that keeps my coffee warm while I work, in case I really get into it (and I do sometimes). I don't like cream, but I do like the creamer stuff and sugar. Whatever works--to each of us her own! Oh, and yes, I do have a special cup.

  5. BJ, what is the cup-warming thing? Like a mini hot plate?

  6. Exactly. I have one that plugs into an electrical outlet, but I've seen them that have a usb hookup. You can only use them with glass or ceramic cups or ... and I am experienced with this...they can melt the nice Tervis insulated mugs. Do a google search for mug warmers and you'll find tons of them.
    Oh BTW, I also make a whole pot of coffee, then put most of it in a Thermos all fixed up like I like it. I used to take that into my office to save time refueling, but my office is now right across from the kitchen.

  7. For my novel Elizabeth suggested Pernod.

  8. Ha! Yes. I still haven't tried it, but want to...


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