“Write Drunk, Edit Sober”

In 2014, I pre-ordered a copy of Ann Handley’s stellar work Everybody Writes. It is a fabulous, must-read book… If you don’t have it, stop and order it now and we’ll discuss it another day. In a quintessential burst of Ann’s creative flare, she offered–and I received–a coveted “Everybody Writes Anti-Mediocrity Content Toolkit” (or AMCT for short) in return for my purchasing alacrity.

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

I love this collection of highly-branded and tightly-aligned tchotchkes (no disrespect intended in my use of this term–I love tchotchkes). My favorite two Toolkit items are:

  1. The #EverybodyWrites Ten-Color Pen (used daily)
  2. The “Write drunk; edit sober.” — Ernest Hemingway quote-imprinted coaster (always used by me when sober [see #ImAMormon for the explanation])

Why mention this? For two reasons. First, to point out the Toolkit achieves the desired effect of keeping Everybody Writes in my mind and in front of my eyes.

repeatedly seeing that Hemingway quote… made a significant impact on me.

Second, it’s because repeatedly seeing that Hemingway quote under my glass of virgin whatever made a significant impact on me. Historically, my most common mistake was not editing my work. The results include various mishaps and downright disasters in my career. But no longer.

My Writing Routine

Today, I write loosely using the following six-step process:

  1. Create my first draft in Microsoft Word or Scrivener for Windows
  2. Look for obvious mistakes with built-in proofreading tools
  3. Use Grammarly to eliminate other spelling, grammar, and punctuation finds (these capabilities are worth their weight in gold)
  4. Begin my personalized edit pass
  5. Repeat Step 3.
  6. Publish or send or post

Step 4. includes a digital sidekick for the task. It’s called the Hemingway Editor.

Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear.

Its promise is assertive: “Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear.” If 20+ years of high-tech marketing has done anything, it’s created an opportunity for my writing style to need some occasionally heavy doses of bold and clear.

Your Writing Routine

The best routine is to get writing. Now.

As writing teacher Don Murray (quoted by Ann in her book) says so well: “The draft needs fixing, but first it needs writing.” I’m hoping these tools will give you at least two fewer reasons to not write.

To hold you accountable–if you’re so inclined–share a little something you’ve written today (or at least this week) in the reply/comments section below.

I’d love to read your work.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *