13 Jan Write Drunk, Edit Sober – And More Bad PR Advice
Write Drunk, Edit Sober – And More Bad PR Advice
The quote “Write drunk; edit sober” is often misattributed to Hemingway who, as it turns out, never wrote drunk. While Hemingway was definitely a boozer, he wrote in the morning and didn’t start drinking until the afternoon. Writing drunk may sound more entertaining, but mistakes get made, tempers run short, and even a small slip up like posting a personal tweet to your company page instead of your personal page can cause a PR headache.
Of course, there are those who argue that “writing drunk” is a mental state allowing carefree application of words to paper and not a physical state of intoxication. There is much to be said for loosening up your grip on your words. Perhaps, you may even begin sounding like a human being through your writing. Flawed, but authentic. For some, writing a blog post or article is a daunting task. And some may need a little liquid courage to get the juices flowing, so all I can suggest is make sure you are 100% offline (the internet never forgets). Most importantly, don’t forget the second part of the advice – edit sober. Better yet, get a fresh pair of eyes on your draft to find your typos and grammatical errors. And to make sure your humor is actually funny.
Not everyone is good at being both creative and being detail oriented. In today’s world, the writing isn’t only delegated to the Hemingways of society; engineers and computer geeks are often called upon to write blog posts, communicate with their audience through emails or social media, or write a speech. And with the invention of spell check and Google, there are no longer any excuses for typos and incorrect facts. Understand your limitations and find someone to help. If you are detail oriented, create a bullet point list of the key facts and information you want to convey, and have a freelance writer turn that into narrative. If you are highly creative, employ a fact-checker and editor to keep you in line.