Write drunk, edit sober?

The idea of writing drunk and then editing ruthlessly while sober has always struck me as incredibly peculiar. Being drunk lends itself to a lot of things, one being brutal honesty. If you later edit the things you wrote while drunk, will the honesty be lost? What happens to the crazy flow of thought that comes with slowing down the brain? I’m not sure who’s noticed, but being drunk is excellent for slowing down that maelstrom of sub-par ideas which hits ever writer while they’re in full control of their faculties.

Having your brain a little off-kilter might help slow down the words bursting out of you. And you can make all sorts of unexpected connections which would have otherwise been drowned out. Writing is hard, it’s important to try out whatever makes you feel like you have more control and gets you to that sweet spot where what you’re writing doesn’t feel like nonsense.

That’s the general takeaway I have from my own writing experiences. Writing drunk is a bit like writing angry, it makes you write more passionately than you would when you’re over-thinking every sentence. So write when you’re over-whelmed in some way. Who knows where it might lead. (Don’t develop an addiction for the sake of your writing, that’s a terrible idea. As bad as lazy writing in a movie-script is. Deadpool, baby-I’m referencing you.)

But what do I know? I might or might not be currently inebriated.

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MOOCing all the way home

With my rather tame obsession for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) I have completed two and am at present enrolled in three more. My tendency to multi-task has backfired rather painfully—the work from all three is colliding with the work I have to do for the college I actually attend. The weekly assignments from the MOOCs are interesting, but quite frankly a pain in the behind when Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and R.L. Stevenson beckon from the Victorian Period.

To get on to the more positive aspects of MOOCs, they help to really make you feel better about yourself. This is not just in the clichéd “Oh, it is so nice to meet new people” sense, but in a more complex way.

As far as meeting people goes, I like to preserve my anonymity, so I really don’t interact too much on the forums and discussion threads that are constantly popping up from sources all over the world. It is interesting to see the things people write, and occasionally the ludicrousness of the opinions will make me laugh, but often I agree with certain views. When people disagree, there is a fair amount of debate that I find entertaining, sometimes informative and otherwise just completely unintelligible!

When people hold views I agree with I feel a sort of anonymous approval and self-affirmation. This is how these courses help me, apart from the most obvious way in learning about some topic or the other. The courses can help you remember that there are people out there who agree with you about things, which somehow makes me feel I am not alone in the big scary world. It is like when you meet someone and you agree about everything, you feel connected. This happens on a much larger scale with some of the MOOCs, especially where you get to read people’s assignments as part of the peer grading system.

The most interesting thing perhaps is that the videos and assignments force you to rethink some of the ideas you hold. Either by directly proving their fallacy, as in the case of myths about Psychology that were debunked in my course- Introduction to Psychology as a Science, or by just pointing out chinks that you can go on to attack, until you are left without any armour (just to complete my metaphor).

Some see MOOCs as a waste of time, but I think people who stick it out to the end become more critical about the subject of the course, and can apply the positive aspects of it however they want. Or even the negative aspects, I mean, who knows what some people choose to take away from a course?