I recently saw something on Facebook that, as a writer, intrigued me. It was a statement that read: “Write drunk, edit sober.”
Basically, it means write with wild abandon but edit with surgical precision. It made me wonder what other ways to say this.
Maybe “Write like there’s all the time in the world. Edit like there’s no tomorrow.”
Or “Write down everything that comes to your mind. Edit as if you are the reader and not the author.”
Or “Write without looking back. Edit without looking forward.”
Or “Write like a house on fire. The edit version is the remains.”
Or “Write without thinking of what you’re doing. Edit by thinking about every word as unnecessary.”
No matter how you say it, I’ve learned from experience that writing with abandon but editing with precision is good advice. That first draft can be everything you want to say, while the edited version is everything you want the reader to cling to.
After pouring over various options, I’ve decided that “Write drunk, edit sober” is more succinct than anything I came up with on the spur of the moment.