INFOGRAPHIC: Here's the science behind the saying 'write drunk, edit sober'

Photo: Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Images

Ernest Hemingway’s famous advice was to “write drunk, edit sober”. Alcohol and writing certainly have a reputation as bedfellows, with famed authors David Foster Wallace, Edgar Allan Poe, Truman Capote, and Hemingway himself, being heavy drinkers.

In truth, Hemingway probably never said that famous line which has been attributed to him for all these years. It was probably derived from a 1964 Peter De Vries novel called, Reuben, Reuben where his main character said:

“Sometimes I write drunk and revise sober, and sometimes I write sober and revise drunk. But you have to have both elements in creation — the Apollonian and the Dionysian, or spontaneity and restraint, emotion.”

But the question remains—is it true? Should you write drunk, and edit sober? We delve into the science behind this in the infographic below.

Courtesy of: The Expert Editor

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