Write Drunk, Edit SoberJune 15th, 2010 by bakerkline
In anticipation of the paperback release of my latest novel, Bird in Hand, my friend Gretchen Rubin invited me to answer some questions about happiness for her wonderful blog, The Happiness Project. One of her questions is, "Is there a happiness mantra or motto you've found very helpful?" I do have one -- which I'll write about for Gretchen (and link to here!) in a few days -- but I love the answer to this question given by Larry Smith, creator of the brilliant Six-Word Memoir Project ("Fall down. Get up. Repeat process."):
"My motto for writing (which is a big part of my daily existence and own happiness), one that I think applies to life as well: “Write drunk, edit sober.” Not that you should actually be drunk (the inebriated writer is a silly, antiquated idea, among other things), but that you should just get the words down whether you’re writing a letter, a report for work, or the story of your life, in six words or 60,000. Put the words down, don’t obsess over them, just effusively spill them down onto the page. Then step away—for an hour, a day, a week, whatever you need. And then edit. Edit like crazy. Be hard on words and yourself and make it better. And when you think you’re finished, edit it one more time."