Friday, October 5, 2012

Write Drunk; Edit Sober.

Ernest Hemingway spoke very wise words, "Write drunk; edit sober."

I read this quote on a picture frame in my friends apartment this week and I immediately fell in love with this quote. Beyond just the reason that I love to drink, but because there is actually some immense truth behind this. When we are drunk, our standards are lowered. We say things we never would say if we were sober, and absolutely ridiculous things seem to make sense. How many times have you woken up the next day after a drunken evening and thought to yourself, "why did I think that was a good idea?"

But look beyond just a drunken evening. Look at the idea here that with absolutely no inhibition, the thoughts would just continue to pour out of my mind and translate into words. Even more so than the words, great ideas might be born. Ridiculous thoughts that never would have crossed your mind if it weren't for the four glasses of wine. Revisit the story 24 hours later and make edits, which will most likely be many edits, since you most likely did not have any care in the world with grammar or spelling, and you have yourself some amazing writing. It seems like a great recipe to me. The idea is so painfully obvious and simple. One of my absolute favorite places in the world is sitting on an airplane, with a glass of wine in hand, staring out the window as I type or write whatever is on my mind. It's in those moments that it seems as if anything is possible.

I sound like an alcoholic as I write this, but I truly believe that Ernest Hemingway knew exactly what he was talking about and his writing shows that. Indeed, many of his stories were ones with moments of great sadness, but nonetheless, the stories were beautiful; my favorite being The Sun Also Rises.

So I'm going to test this theory over the next month or so. I want to sit down on a Sunday evening, have those few glasses of wine, and see how my writing changes. It might be complete chaos when I read it the next day and not any of it makes sense. But a small part of me knows that there will be some snippets of true brilliance. I'm sitting here on a Friday evening on my balcony in the cool fall air, sipping my bourbon and coke one and the idea sounds exciting.

Write drunk; edit sober... Words I want to live by in hopes that one day, my writing will catch on and always be as brilliant as when I am drunk.

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