On Writing: Hemingway Mode

Hemingway Mode: A Story of Never Looking Back (At Least During Drafting)

When I Went on Reddit To Find Writing Advice

I am notorious when it comes to writing on a deadline. Besides the dread I feel at the sight of an unfinished piece, I am such a slow writer because I self edit as I write. Every few hours I’ll maybe have another paragraph, which as many writers know, is not a very productive way of writing. Thankfully, there are bright minds and writers that have come before all of us to fill us with inspiration and wise words.

Remember when Hemingway said “write drunk, edit sober?” Well, apparently there’s an app for that. It literally prevents you from editing while you’re writing if you’re brave enough to use it. This is how it works.

Using Hemingway Mode

First you start writing. Then you keep writing. All mistakes, irrelevant information, and weird finger spasms included in your writing. Nothing left out. Your raw unedited first version.

This fantastic or horrible beast is accurately called Hemingway mode and it’s a feature in draftin.com. I found it on reddit so you know it’s good. It’s for people like me, that more often than not spend way too much time agonizing over every single word.

This is how writers (back in the day) used to do it. They’d sit in front of a typewriter and just keep writing. They’d have to throw caution to the wind or risk spending way too much time trying to correct every error they made while typing on their clicky clacky machine.

My Success Story

But why should you or anyone else listen to Hemingway’s advice?

Because it worked for me.

Literally, 20 minutes after using the app, I had over 500 words. Granted, they were 500 words full of typos and fragments I probably had to delete but that was 500 words more than I would have had if I didn’t have something keeping me from fixing my mistakes in the moment.

If it takes you forever to finish a few sentences, maybe Hemingway mode is just the help you need to push yourself to continue writing and to keep writing until you’ve hit your minimum word count. Then you can go back, revise and expand. I think a lot of people can agree when I say that it’s a lot easier to finish when you already have a full draft to go off of.


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