It’s been misattributed to Ernest Hemingway for years, but “write drunk, edit sober” holds a lot more truth than you’d first think. Here’s why.
While, yes, there is some evidence a couple drinks help creativity, let’s think more practically. Think about “write drunk” as when you’re in the zone, and words, ideas, and connections are flying onto the screen.
Don’t stop. Don’t break the flow. Stay in the zone. Don’t worry about grammar or structure or “rules”. Just write and keep writing. Resist editing your work at all costs. Enjoy this moment “drunk” on creativity.
When the bubble pops and you’ve tapped into all the creativity you had, stop and take a break. This is “edit sober”.
When I’m done with a post I let it “marinate”. I might do a light editing pass, but otherwise I let the post sit for a while. A few hours, overnight, doesn’t matter how long, just some space to have perspective.
If you edit too quickly you might be too hard or too gentle to yourself. You need to come at your writing with fresh eyes to be able to kill your darlings (and all the other editing truisms).
Write drunk, edit sober isn’t an excuse for day drinking but an opportunity to level up your writing and improve everything you produce.