“Write drunk; edit sober.”
That quote is often attributed to Hemingway, although I’m not sure it’s ever been confirmed that he ever actually said it. I do think it’s a great quote though for a couple of reasons.
First, if you want to take it literally, then by all means do just that. If writing “drunk” can help you loosen up and let down your restraints, then go ahead and try it. Just be warned: After you wake up the next day and read the masterpiece you wrote the previous night, it might make so little sense that while you were getting wasted, so was time, and wasted time is like death to a writer.
If you don’t take the “drunk” part literally (which I’m assuming you shouldn’t, even if Hemingway did say it), it still makes sense figuratively.
Write without restrictions.
Write without fear.
Take changes and be creative.
And to edit sober means to edit with your brain turned on. The editing part is where you need to pull back a bit on the risk-taking and look at your work in a more academic way. Consider the plot from all angles and make sure the it’s not only coherent, but also realistic.
So regardless of Hemingway’s state of consciousness when he wrote, I still do think that his quote (if it is in fact his quote) wasn’t meant to be taken literally and was meant to be taken in a symbolic sense.
But if you do choose to have a glass or two when you start writing to get those creative juices flowing, who I am to judge?
Just make sure you stick with the cheap stuff until you make it big.