How far are you prepared to go for your art?
Sell your house? Sell your children? Sell your soul?
How about signing up for an 18-day inpatient drug trial where you can’t step outside, can’t choose what food to eat, can’t drink alcohol, can’t smoke cigarettes, can’t do drugs, can’t do anything but write?
Sounds extreme? Well, I’ve just finished an exhaustive screening phone call to see if I fit the bill. I must have given the right answers because I’m scheduled for an in-person screening with a doctor tomorrow at 8 am.
Now before you write me off as completely crazy, it’s not like I’m trialing a new kidney removal procedure or an experimental compound that causes cancer/limb loss. It’s for a study on an anti-Alzheimer’s drug to improve focus and attention.
So let’s be perfectly clear. I might be signing up for two 9-day stints where nutritionally balanced meals, hospital grade accommodation and boundless wifi are provided free while trialing a drug to make me mentally sharper.
Oh, did I mention the $13,000 stipend? It’s a paid rehab and writing retreat made in heaven. With 24/7 medical care. Lots of medical care.
What’s the downside? My hair could fall out. My dick could drop off. My fingers could shrivel up. I could suffer - as the screener on the phone casually noted - fatal side effects.
What’s the upside? I’ll finally write that Bill Hicks screenplay I’ve been thinking about for years. Finally box myself in where (aside from the constant drawing of blood) the only way out is through a 120-page screenplay.
Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.