Write Drunk, Edit Sober – Ernest Hemingway

Write drunk, edit sober, a quote ascribed to Ernest Hemingway.

Of course Hemingway said it.  Anyone who knows anything about Hemingway knows he was a drunk, a drinker, a consumer of great quantities of intoxicants.  He had to have said that.  But, what if he said it and he was not talking about writing or drinking?

What if he was referring to life?  What if he said “write drunk” i.e., live your life to its fullest.  What if he was advising us to do all those things we dreamt of doing and to do them with complete abandon?

Is it possible he was suggesting we experience our lives as if they were a gift from God?  Drinkers of wine refer to it as nectar of the Gods? Could it be he was alluding to the concept of getting in the deep end of the pool instead of just wading in the kids’ end?

Intoxication, drunkenness, inebriation reduces out inhibitions; we forget we can’t dance and we think lamp shades hats are stylish.  We take things to their extremes.

Maybe Hemingway was telling us to live our lives with that same level of enthusiasm. If he was, what does “edit sober” mean?

Anyone, who had written so much as a love letter, knows the power and the need of editing.  Editing is when we bring our thoughts up to a standard that is acceptable to society.  Editing is when we raise our efforts to presentable.   Editing is when we enjoy the dance to its fullest, but leave the lamp shade alone.

Edits are our standards, our beliefs, our morals and our expectations.  They allow us to live our lives and write our stories on a higher plane.  They must be followed with a sober, prayerful, humble frame of mind and spirit.

Write drunk – edit sober; a quote from Ernest Hemingway.


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