From the Mashable Q&A with Jonah Lehrer, Author of Imagine: How Creativity Works.
Many of the anecdotes in Imagine have a disconcerting common theme of drugs or mental illness. Are creative people all doomed to be addicts or mad men?
I don’t think so. (Yo Yo Ma, for instance, is a very nice guy.) But I do think the prevalence of such stories reminds us that creativity is damn difficult, which is why those in the creativity business are always looking for every possible edge. That’s why many great writers experimented with amphetamines and why performers have always searched for compounds that let them get out of their head, silencing that voice that kills their spontaneity. In the end, of course, these chemical shortcuts rarely work out — there’s nothing creative about addiction. And that’s why I remained convinced that the best creativity booster is self-knowledge. Once we know how the imagination works, we can make it work better.
Full interview here: How to Be Creative: The Science of Genius.