Beer to Unlock Writer's Block

There's nothing worse than writer's block; not illness, not divorce, not even death compares to the mental torment experienced when your brain refuses to cough up some words. Like a hot bath to open wounds, an impending deadline can make your literary struggles even more painful. And if you're writing a speech for a forthcoming wedding, the knowledge you might disappoint people you love adds a vinegary bath bomb to what is already an excruciatingly uncomfortable bath-time.

So what's the solution? Easy… it's the same liquid miracle which solves all of life's problems. Booze. According to a new study covered in the Telegraph, having one pint of beer boosts creativity and can help to rewire your brain if you're stuck for material. However, knocking back two, four or 20 pints has been shown to have an adverse effect on creativity, and we're going to prove this using the results of our own jolly little experiment.

The only way to prove a scientific theory is to test it yourself. Therefore, to demonstrate our commitment to you, the readers, our writer voluntarily imbibed himself with different levels of alcohol before attempting to rewrite some wedding-appropriate material. And as you're about to find out, some of it turned out to be about as inappropriate as you could ever hope to hear.


Let's say you've drawn up a skeleton script which ticks the emotional boxes but lacks much in the way of humour. You might have paid tribute to the in-laws, you've thanked everyone for being here, and you've gushed about your lovely wife; but unfortunately, your speech just isn't that entertaining. Like this line, for example:

  1. "I know it's a cheesy pick-up line, but when I first met Samantha I asked her if her father was an artist, because she's such a fine piece of work yadda yadda yadda. I know right? Total cornball."

However, after one solitary pint of beer the creativity starts to flow, and you end up with something a little funnier:

  1. "When I first met Samantha I asked her if her father was a sergeant, because she makes my privates stand at attention!"

But after four pints, this sort of silly and juvenile line can take a distinctly darker turn:

  1. "Was your father a thief? Because if he was, he's stolen you a cracking pair of tits." OR
    "Was your father a thief? If I was your daddy, I'd be in prison for something else entirely."


The best man can go a little further with the tone of his wedding speech jokes, so you might get away with using one-and-a-half pints to improve this rather dreary line:

  1. "Dan's been nervous about today for a long time, but I'm pleased to say last night when he stayed round mine he slept like a baby - waking up every two hours, crying his eyes out."

A simple enough premise which, with the right amount of Dutch courage in your system, can be maximised for comic effect:

  1. "Dan's been feeling nervous about the wedding for a while now, but when he stayed at mine last night he slept like a little baby. By that, I mean he kept waking up crying and asking for his mum. Oh, and he wet the bed too. Or that could've been me. We spooned quite tightly."

The extension of the joke is topped off nicely with a little twist right at the end there, and that's the kind of bizarre tangent your mind takes when it's freed up after a pint or two. The key to this joke is that it's silly and a little bit cute. Yet all of that can change if you use the wrong language, and a four-pint writer is liable to do just that:

  1. "Dan's been proper nervous about the wedding for ages now, but when he stayed at mine last night he slept like a baby! By that, I mean he woke up having shit the bed crying for his mum. Lucky for him I was banging her in the next room."


Of all the speakers at a wedding, the father is the one most constrained by expectations of taste and decency. Depending on whether or not you can handle your drink, you may want to be cautious with how much you sling back when writing your speech. Don't be too virtuous though, because, sans booze, your lines may end up coming out as stodgy as this:

  1. "Sorry if I mumble folks. I'm a little worse for wear as I wanted to accompany my future son-in-law out on his last night as a free man. You know, to keep an eye on him. I think he behaved himself. I can't remember much."

This line is alright, but it doesn't really end in a satisfying manner. There needs to be a big laugh if you're making up a premise like this, and this joke doesn't really have one. To come up with a punchline, I knocked back a pint and generated the following alternatives:

  1. "Just before I start [yawn], I want to apologise as I was out late last night with Sean. I wanted to make sure he behaved on his last night as a free man. I'm happy to report that he did - not that he had a choice, bound and gagged in the boot of my car."

All this joke needs is a nice, dad-appropriate angle. Our one-pint examples tried an overbearing father, a dad who led his son-in-law astray. But after four pints, your humour often becomes a little more brusque and risque. No bridesmaid wants to hear their dear old daddy talking about sex or his penis, but with a bit of booze in you this might seem like a brilliant idea:

  1. "If I come across poorly I apologise. I had a heavy night last night, as I wanted to accompany my future son-in-law Sean on his last night as a free man to make sure there were no shenanigans. Unfortunately, our drunken state meant we both ended up getting tattoos on rather sensitive parts of our anatomy. Having both chosen to have the name of our favourite sports teams inked on our members, never have I been more pleased to find out Sean was a fan of QPR. I of course follow Borussia Monchengladbach, ladies."

That last joke might be suitable for a best man, but it's not appropriate for a father-in-law at all. Not only can too much alcohol make your material more salacious, but it can also cause you to forget your duties and throw caution to the wind. This is also true when you're delivering a speech, as someone who is a little tipsy often forgets their cues and loses all sense of who they are and what they're doing. A quick belt of whisky might make you confident enough to react off the cuff to the audience's cues though, as this The wedding planning process discussedwedding speaker demonstrates, and in this way alcohol can be helpful.

But whatever you do, don't overdo it. Writing a speech can be hard, but dealing with the consequences of a bad speech can be even worse. If more than a pint helps you write then feel free to try it, but if you are going to push yourself in this way, at least make sure you follow Ernest Hemmingway's immortal advice: Write Drunk, Edit Sober.