Welcome to the blog of the Consulting Editors Alliance. This is our forum for sharing views on the wonderful, bizarre, enormously frustrating and satisfying (depends on the day) world of book publishing and our roles in it as freelance editors, writing collaborators, and ghostwriters. Please join the conversation!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Anthropology of the Writing Life

Via Mental Floss, here's a fun piece about the work habits of 25 famous thinkers, most of them writers. Note that John Cheever, the second writer mentioned, isn't the only author who finds it necessary to put on a jacket and tie before settling in to work; in the current Esquire, the great biographer Robert Caro says he does the same thing. Not me! In fact, I left corporate publishing behind to become a freelancer in part because I hate wearing a tie.

One thing I do share with many of the writers in the article is the need for a mental and physical break after a few hours at the keyboard. My personal trick: Take time off in the late morning or early afternoon to drive over to Staples, where I browse the latest office supplies and gadgets, then visit the grocery to pick up whatever looks good for dinner. The trip leaves me refreshed and ready to put in another couple of productive hours before the wife gets home from her "real" job. Next time you're suffering writer's block, give it a try.

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