Awhile ago I came across an article that pretty much confirmed that I knew what I was doing while working on my master’s thesis. This article, actually, by Mikael Cho on the usages of my two most favorite liquids in the world, coffee and beer.
Perhaps you never gave it any thought, but beer allows you to get pretty creative (just Youtube some “hold my beer” moments) as it removes inhibitions and puts you in a more relax state (duh). However, you wouldn’t want to be consuming beer while needing to do a detail oriented task as it tends to make your actions a little sloppy (again, just YouTube some “hold my beer” moments), and I’m sure it goes without saying that you should avoid dangerous tasks, e.g. driving or operating heavy machinery.
For the tasks that require a little bit more precision, we have the king of caffeine, coffee! One sec, let me go grab another cup … aaaahhhh, that sure hits the spot! Nothing beats a cup of joe in the morning, and for good reason. It doesn’t actually give you energy, but rather blocks the chemicals that cause you to feel sluggish. Either way you look at it, it sure feels great and helps you power through those annoying corporate emails.
And if you weren’t aware, a master’s thesis requires a bit of writing to document the research topic, the established procedures, the collected/processed data, and further discussion/conclusion about the results. For me at least, this wasn’t a trivial task, and I would find myself not knowing what to type while I was in my office on campus. I tried shifting my writing location to the on-campus cafe (mad props to Cougar Grounds, they know how to make an amazing americano), but that just got me wired and I needed to get the creative juices flowing. Luckily, a group of colleagues decided to go downtown for a study session at a pub. I liked the idea and ended up joining them on their second outing, and this is where I found my muse. With over 75 beers on tap and another 100-ish available in bottles, my new place of writing was Houston’s Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. The downside to all this “creative writing” was that it was full of spelling/grammatical errors. So many, in fact, that my adviser dreaded having to skim through the 3-4 pages of text that I would seem to generate from each of my nightly writing sessions. It was then that I found the balance needed with the addition of a morning coffee the next day and a quick proofing prior to passing any of the generated text to anyone you were fearful of making yourself look foolish in front of.
Long story short … write drunk, and edit sober!