Write Drunk, Edit Sober

We’ve all heard this tidbit of advice from Peter De Vries. It’s often misattributed to Hemingway. If you want to read about that, here’s a good explanation: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/09/21/write-drunk/ This post isn’t about who said it first. It’s about the spirit of the quote, no pun intended.  The advice is meaningful to me right now as I’m writing a first draft of a new novel. That quote says to me to release the shackles of inhibition. Just write. No one is going to see the first draft but me. So do whatever it takes to write with reckless abandon. Don’t worry about tropes, cliches, the amount of profanity, the number of times I use the word “was.” None of that matters in this round. What matters is the second version. And the third. And every revision after that. It’s impossible to edit a manuscript that doesn’t exist. So, while I’m not exactly writing drunk, what I am doing is constantly reminding myself to muzzle the doubts and ignore my internal critic. Instead, I’m writing like no one is reading. I’m reveling in the first-draftness of just getting the story out. Because I love revising. That’s where the magic happens. And I can’t wait to get started. What about you? When you’ve read/heard “write drunk, edit sober,” what does it mean to you?  

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