In college, one of my favorite English professors used to advise us around term paper time not to follow William Faulkner's example — that is, writing while under the influence of alcohol.
I don't drink much, and when I was in college I never did so with the intention of doing homework afterward. So it wasn't until I met Michael, who is something of a wine connoisseur, that I discovered that alcohol and writing doesn't really work.
Whenever I'm planning on working more in the evening (which is more often than I'd like to admit), I opt not to join Michael in a glass of wine. At the very least it makes me sleepy, and more often it makes me just tipsy enough to make working difficult. (Yes, I'm a lightweight.)
I'm actually writing this while a little tipsy, and there's no way I could have written anything more involved than a blog post. I mean, it took me several minutes to think of the word involved...
And yes, I had my glass and a half of wine because I didn't plan on working anymore tonight.
As it turns out, though, my English professor may have been misinformed: According to several sources online, it seems that writing while under the influence didn't work for Faulkner, either. Too bad — it would make a better story (at least from the college student's perspective) if it did.