Maria Nazdravan · October 26th, 2020
Psychedelics and creativity share a long, fruitful history. While larger doses have catalyzed several creative breakthroughs in science, music, and art, the increasing popularity of microdosing is demonstrating that small, sub-perceptual doses of LSD or psilocybin can have just as big an impact on creativity.
A new study analyzing data from the world’s largest drug survey confirms what anecdotal reports and previous research have been suggesting for years. According to the 6,753 participants who microdosed at least once in the last 12 months, the positive outcomes often include an increase in mood, creativity, focus, and sociability, whereas the most commonly reported challenge was… “none”.
While microdosing to achieve a specific goal didn’t show an increase in benefits, overall, the study results are very encouraging. Microdosing is not only safe, but its benefits clearly outweigh the challenges, especially when it comes to creative pursuits. Unsurprisingly, these findings align with what participants in our microdosing course have been reporting about their own journeys:
“Microdosing psilocybin has opened my mind to new possibilities. Psilocybin has reconnected me with my positive feelings of happiness, gratitude, and joy. I feel free, like I can think outside of the box, be more creative and express more positive feelings!” (Verushka C.)
But what exactly is creativity?
Creativity isn’t just about having many ideas. Scientists have defined creativity as the ability to create novel ideas that are useful. According to this model, creativity seems to be a dynamic process, a dance between forces of generation and evaluation. Indeed, unbound imagination is not enough. To be creative, you need to solve a problem efficiently too.
But how can we measure this? Previous research on microdosing measured the creative process as a combination of two modes of thinking. While divergent thinking is about finding out-of-the-box ideas, convergent thinking is linked to the persistence necessary in finding the best solution to a problem. And lucky for us, microdosing seems to boost both.
The balance between flexibility of thought and persistence gives us a better idea of how activities like writing, drawing, and painting can be enhanced while microdosing. Let’s have a look.
Writing and microdosing
When it comes to writing, microdosing LSD or psilocybin mushrooms seems to improve both the process of coming up with novel ideas and the ability to focus on the details and stick with the process.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that writing while microdosing can be one of the most powerful tools for overcoming writer’s block or even avoiding it altogether. Online reports by microdosers range from people feeling inspired to pick up creative writing as a hobby, to established writers feeling more confident of their craft and finding states of flow more often than usual.
In addition, microdosing can help increase creativity on a “micro” level. Rather than coming up with big ideas, like the plot for a new novel, writing while microdosing might allow you to focus on the small details, like expressive character features, rich scene painting, or a poignant line of dialogue.
And if you’re a poet, you might find that microdosing could help you write more philosophically, adding more depth to your usual style.
Painting and microdosing
Similarly, painting and drawing when microdosing seems to benefit from the equally impressive increases in creativity.
For example, anecdotal reports on the boost in divergent thinking vary from exploring new techniques to really out-of-the-box thinking, like having your kittens join you by painting with their paws (yes, this is a true story). According to these reports, drawing while microdosing could even push you to find your unique personal style as an artist.
On the other hand, enhanced convergent thinking could help you focus more on the details. Once you have an idea of the big picture, microdosing can help you stick with the process to make your piece the best it can be, down to the most delicate lines and shading.
More interestingly, microdosing while drawing or painting seems to rekindle a sense of excitement for the process itself. Online reports suggest that microdosing can tame your inner critic, allowing you to create for the sake of creating rather than achieving a desired result. If you enjoyed drawing in your childhood, microdosing could help you reconnect with that part of you and rediscover your artistic side. And if you’re an established artist, you might find it easier to overcome creative blocks and bring a sense of fun and adventure back to your work.
What about you?
Have you felt more creative writing, painting, or drawing while microdosing? Share your work with us!
Please send us an email at [email protected] with your text or artwork and tell us a little bit about your experience creating while microdosing. We’re building an online gallery to show off our talented community, and we would love to feature you there.