Monday, March 8, 2010

Gladwell + Pink = Brilliant!

Two of my favorite nonfiction adult authors, Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Pink are teaming up in a joint venture. Gladwell, a writer for the New Yorker, has chosen Pink's new book Drive for the March online book club.

As for Drive, Gladwell writes,
In Drive, he tackles the question of what motivates people to do innovative work, and his jumping-off point is the academic work done over the past few decades that consistently shows that financial rewards hinder creativity. These studies have been around for a while. But Pink follows through on their implications in a way that is provocative and fascinating.

Sound familiar? If you have read any of Gladwell's books such as The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and his newest book, What the Dog Saw, you will see a parallel between the type of research and writing they both do.

In peparation for the online book discussion, Gladwell asked Pink 5 questions:

1. What surprising truth motivated you to write Drive?

2. What books would you recommend as background or supplementary reading?

3. What do you hope members of this book club will take away from your book?

4. If you had a book club, what book would you choose to read?

5.  Do you have any rules for writing?

For the answers to the first four questions, you'll have to check out the interview, but for question five, Pink's response follows:

1. Show up. Get to work even when you don’t feel like writing—especially when you don’t feel like writing.

2. Write every day. Regaining momentum takes three times as much energy as sustaining momentum. (Look it up: It’s a law of literary physics.)

3. Don’t do anything else until you’ve written five hundred words.

4. Move. Some of my best ideas come when I’m climbing the stairs of my house or running in my neighborhood.

5. Once you’ve produced a semi-credible draft of a section or chapter, have someone read it to you aloud. Hearing your words will make you rethink—and sometimes regret—them.

6. Remember that writing, though solitary, is also social. You’re making a promise to readers. Honor that promise.

7. These rules work for me. Your mileage may vary.

I'll be honest, I struggle with a lot of these...I completely agree with 4, it works for me every time. I totally agree with 1, 2, 3 and 5 but rarely follow them (big problem!). I really like 6 and will definitely strive to keep it in mind (which might help with 1, 2, 3 and 5).

What do you think? Does Pink's writing habits match yours? Which ones work for you and which ones do you struggle with the most?

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