The popular saying of “Write drunk, edit sober” refers to literally being and getting drunk to be liberated in your thoughts. Since I don’t enjoy the idea of becoming an alcoholic because I want to write a lot, here’s how to write in states in which you seem to be drunk but are actually not — at least not through alcohol.
Tip 1: Wake up earlier than you usually do
If you normally wake up at 5am, wake up at 3am. This way you don’t fully realize that you’re awake which is reflected on your writing as well. It keeps your rational mind or inner censorship shut and lets you write freely.
In a recent conversation in Guatemala a friends told me that another friend who is a writer applies that technique very well. If waking up early is hard for you, I can imagine it is, try approaching your goal time, e.g. 3am, step by step. The morning you start you wake up at 6am, the next morning 5.30am, and so on. It’s ok if it takes a week or two to reach the goal time.
Tip 2: Laughter with friends
Honestly, it’s been quite some years that I had deep laughter with friends that made me feel drunk. I remember I must have been 16 or 17 years old (I’m 32 now) when I watched a Stargate on German television with a friend — it’s when Macgyver (Richard Dean Anderson) was in the show. We were watching, commenting, analyzing on what we saw, pretty much like nerds. Although I never felt like a Sci-Fi nerd, maybe I was. My friend was for sure.
This relaxed state of being surrounded by the “Flimmerkiste” (old-fashioned German word to say “TV set”) providing us with content while we can go ahead and find all the weird, sometimes illogical things the TV presents us with and laugh about them strongly — so strong that my lower jaw started hurting because it got stuck. Since Stargate was only the beginning of our television enjoyment we spent some good hours building a “golden” triangle of my friend, the TV set and me. The good old times, you could say. Yes. For sure.
Tip 3: Walk a very long time and distance in a row
In April 2014, when I ended my trip through South East Asia, I spent some days in Singapore to discover what I today know as a very European-ized city-state in the heart of Asia. I lived in a friend’s big shared house I met through another friend in the Philippines. The other day I walked 4.5 hours (about 17 kilometers) from this very central house to the direction of the small island of Pulau Ubin, at the border to Malaysia. I was curious about it since I love a lot little islands.
Walking means I start thinking. Walking is my vehicle to start reflecting. That’s why traveling plays such a big role in my life. Walking is so special because it includes exhaustion and revelation at the same. Walking some hours in a row in a good speed gets you into a very focused state of mind — you feel tired (exhausted) but don’t care too much about it. When your mind is like that — again relaxed like in tip 2 — it’s easier to have revelations or personal insights. These insights will help you in your writing because when you start walking with a writing block in the back of your head, the long walk will unblock you.
In my personal case, on that specific day (April 26, 2014), I wrote:
Sport, Radio, Werbung sind die Orte, wo man als Querdenker und Rebell noch am ehesten seinen Platz findet und sich ausleben kann. #life
— Alexander Kluge (@Naii) April 26, 2014
It translates to:
Sports, radio and the advertisement are the places where it’s more likely to find your place as a rebel and unconventional thinker and where you can live out that part of your personality.