Saturday, November 03, 2012

How I Write: Erik Larson

The bestselling non-fiction writer discusses process with the Daily Beast.

From the piece...

Describe your morning routine.
I’m an early riser, for one thing. This started back when our kids were small. My wife and I would get up at 4 a.m. so that we could have a couple of peaceful hours before they woke up. That pattern has continued. I get up, make coffee, and while it’s brewing I do 50 sit-ups. Then, with a cup of coffee in hand, I go into my wife’s home office to the secret Oreo drawer, where I grab a single Double Stuf Oreo (yes, that spelling is correct) and then I sit down either to write or, if I’m in the research phase, to read documents or other relevant materials.

On a bad day, where the writing goes hard, or I’m just in a lousy mood, I allow myself a second Oreo. I work until breakfast time, c. 7 a.m., at which point I’d hang out with the kids for a bit, before they went off to school. Now, with our youngest newly off to college, I hang out with my wife, or read the paper, or maybe go out for breakfast. I start work again around 8, and soldier on through the day. Since I loathe the tedium of gym workouts, I take breaks for tennis with my eclectic group of tennis pals. My main tennis connection is a prominent rabbi who periodically has to halt play to arrange a funeral. At day’s end, I’ll go food shopping. I’m the chef of the house. It’s a terrific relief from the obsessions of the day.

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