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Should You “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” Ala Ernest Hemingway?

By | source:The Expert Editor Nov 30th, 2017

If you are a writer or editor, you may have heard the famous advice “write drunk, edit sober” , supposedly from Ernest Hemingway.  

Although this famous line has been attributed to the well-known American author for all these years, there’s been some questions raised over whether he actually said it.

However, since many famous authors, such as David Foster Wallace, Edgar Allan Poe, Truman Capote, and Hemingway himself, are heavy drinkers, the question is still there – should you write drunk, and proofread your work sober? Let’s take a look at the advice “scientifically”!

Alcohol is said to boosts your imagination and inner consciousness, therefore, it helps to increase creativity. But only if you are tipsy – 0.07% of blood alcohol is considered the sweet spot for creativity. That’s about 2 – 3 drinks. If you drink more, chances are you will end up with a bad hangover.

On the other hand, when you edit, edit with coffee. This drink provides us with more working memory so we can focus on a task. It also helps you ignore distractions as well, which is necessary for you to edit your own work.

Curious about the life of famous writers? Learn more here.