What Happens When You Follow Hemingway's Advice to "Write Drunk; Edit Sober"?

It may surprise you, but most Neatorama blogging is done while the authors are stone cold sober. Would our content selection and writing improve if we took a few shots of whiskey first? That would be in keeping with Earnest Hemingway's advice to "write drunk; edit sober." Well, the first part at least. Writer Eric Kuentz decided to try Hemingway's regimen. Here's his morning after report:

My head is still throbbing.

One thing I learned, besides being out of practice drinking (no worries, not a habit I’m looking to pick up), alcohol definitely lowered my inhibitions. While this can be a dangerous occurrence at the bar, facing the blank page wasn’t nearly as scary as usual. While the ideas didn’t flow as smoothly as I may have liked, and clearly I lose the ability to punctuate and spell, there was definitely a stream-of-consciousness kind of feeling as I was writing. As things popped into my head, as characters spoke out of the fog of intoxication, it all spewed out onto the page.

Link -via VA Viper | Photo: Thomas Nelson & Sons

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Your problem was believing in a misattributed quote. The phrase doesn't appear in Hemingway's works nor letters.

There is, on page 174 of "A Moveable Feast" this;

"My training was never to drink after dinner nor before I write nor while I was writing." -- Hemingway.
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When I write my best, it is after a few drinks. Not enough to get full-on drunk, just slightly tipsy. I have to go back sober and edit it of course, but you have to do that when you write sober from the beginning too.
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@Brent: Agreed. It's the 2-3 beer buzz that works best.

Especially if you have a bunch of water, coffee, and more alcohol around to sustain that level for awhile.

-Another thing writers like is Absinthe. Especially for its 'Push-Pull' effect.
-Which is in-place due to the alcohol for the pull and a few of the other non-wormwood herbs (like Hyssop & Melissa, iirc) for the push part. -Sort of like a very fancy Irish Coffee.

No you don't trip on Absinthe; you'd die of alcohol poisoning first. That's part of the copper-salt-bathtub-absinthe that cheapo bucket shops made for poor folks back Circa ~Toulouse-Lautrec.

+I get a lot of the best creative & funny stuff when I've had only 4 hours sleep.
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