This issue: Do altered states lead to greater creativity? It’s the question that is pondered that leads to a discussion of drugs, depression, and insomnia as gateways to increased productivity in the creative arts.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. The Robert Anton Wilson books that Stephen references are most likely Cosmic Trigger, Cosmic Trigger II, and Cosmic Trigger III. The first Cosmic Trigger deals especially with Wilson’s drug use and other consciousness expanding/altering experiments. Wilson is my absolute favorite author, both his fiction and nonfiction works.

  2. i think altered states of mind only boost your creativity IF you are already a creativ person, otherwise every sturday night we’ll all end up with a bunch of masterworks out of the clubs and bars.
    Did you guys read “No hero”? it’s a ongoing mini with induced altered states of mind as a source for superpowers

  3. The sleep deprivation aspect of the conversation was pretty interesting. I think the longest I’ve ever gone without sleep is probably 36 to 40 hours.

    I did Scott McCloud’s 24 Hour Comic Book Challenge last October which includes a certain amount of sleep deprivation as a specific aspect of a creative exercise. I did find myself getting very emotional about the characters and story as I got to the 13-14 hour mark, and through the completion of the challenge. It was a very intense experience, and I still have very vivid, but almost dreamlike memories of that day. I was only awake for a little over 24 hours for that specific experience, but I can imagine how weird things could get beyond that duration as the mind copes with fatigue.

  4. I suppose this will never be read, but when I get sleep deprived (which happens frequently), things start changing colors, shadows glow around the edges, and I start hearing things. Once in high school, one of my classmates turned lime green for about a minute.

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