Innovation Hack 4 - Write Drunk, Edit Sober

Separate the Creative Phase From the Analytical Phase

The idea to remember today is:
Always separate the creative phase from the analytical phase, or in short:
“Write Drunk, Edit Sober” - Ernest Hemingway


WHY is it important and why is it working?
Don’t we all always try to create perfect ideas right away? This simply doesn’t work. Our brains can either be in the creative mode - generating new ideas - or in the analytical mode - judging or improving ideas. Simply knowing that it is impossible to be creative and analytical at the same time already helps a lot.


WHAT is the problem the technique solves?
This concept removes the pressure to instantly generate great ideas. It’s perfectly okay to create bad ideas first and to focus on improving them separately.


WHEN can it be used?
This concept can be used almost in every problem solving situation, both at home and work.
Are you trying to create a great PowerPoint presentation?
Are you trying to give your boss a perfect answer?
Don’t even try to be perfect straight away. Create a bad first draft, write down some bad ideas first.
Improve them later.


HOW to apply the technique at work or home?
Think about this quote above whenever you’re having writer’s block. It’s okay to deliberately create bad content. Simply begin. Writer’s block is about not wanting to create anything bad.
How do I personally use this concept? When I’m writing, I just focus on writing. I don’t stop to edit or clean it up. A lot of it will be garbage, but I don’t worry at all, that’s what editing is for.
It’s okay for the first draft of your PowerPoint presentation to be horrible, no one is going to read it and it’s not what you will be publishing.

It’s okay for the first solution to your project to be horrible, no one is going to see it and it’s not what you will be presenting to your boss.

Write Drunk, Edit Sober.