It's commonly thought that the drivel most people produce when asked for a piece of writing after knocking back a few drinks is proof that booze and creative pursuits don't mix. But if you've ever felt that you do better at creative tasks after imbibing, genetics might actually be on your side.
At Prospect, writer Philip Hunter review genetic research which suggests that some people possess the so-called 'G-variant', which results in an increased sense of well-being -- and a potential boost to creativity -- in some people. Unfortunately, it's a crap shoot as to whether you've got the gene, and even if you do, judging the right amount of alcohol to boost your writing or other projects can be difficult:
The creative effect of alcohol, then, seems to involve a delicate counterpoint between stimulation and relaxation. Unlike some side-effects of drink, such as its tendency to make some people morose or violent, this endorphin release is positive and pleasant to behold. People with this gene variant also seem more prone to alcoholism, perhaps engaging in an increasingly vain pursuit of the highs they used to experience after the first drink or two.
But if you fancy a glass of red before settling down to an afternoon's creative work, there's a good argument for doing it (assuming you won't drive anywhere afterwards).
I drink, therefore I can [Prospect]