Most of my core writing is done between 9 and 12 in the morning. Blog posts I might write at night or in the late afternoon, but my books are written in the morning, my columns too. Morning time is precious time.
Microsoft Word, I can hardly write by hand anymore, except perhaps a signature when I spend money. Many of my habits are slow to change, and the formatting in Google Docs confuses me when it comes to footnotes and the like.
The music doesn’t bother me, but I don’t really hear it either, so usually I don’t play it. If I do, I might choose Renaissance music, which I otherwise hardly ever listen to. It is less disruptive in terms of rhythm.
I have two offices and a sofa, and if I am traveling it is on the hotel bed. All of those work for me.
Not really, just dig in, and be well-rested and well-hydrated and not too hungry. It is almost always possible to achieve that state of affairs!
I don’t know, I guess I try to write a few pages every day. I don’t obsess over the counting, I just do as much as I can and stop before I feel I am done, so I am eager to start up again the next day, or after lunch. That to me is very important, not to write too much in a single day, but to get something written every single day. As for the second question, I have hundreds of pages of unfinished junk, cut material, outtakes, etc.
The keyboard is the most useful part, though I will check my email and maybe Twitter first, so I don’t miss something big.
I repeatedly edit it many times, at least ten. I just keep on doing it, until I can’t think of further improvements. I can’t say that is a process in any formal sense, simply a recognition that the “process” to date hasn’t worked very well and so it must continue. I don’t pretend this is efficient.
I try to finish out early, so my mind is clear for reading, meetings, other kinds of decisions, whatever I need to do. I can’t write for anything close to a full day, it involves too much concentration.
Both at the same time, but it depends what stage the project is at. In the earliest stages, the proportion of research is much higher. After a while, it simply ends up being a process of editing out mistakes and infelicities. Then I will go and restudy or reread the key materials I used.
I just try to write a lot. I don’t try to develop a style, since I don’t think contemporary American English—my natural idiom—lends itself so well to self-conscious style. I figure if I keep on writing, it might along some dimensions improve. Clarity, at the very least.
I find it easy to summon up the energy and desire. I don’t find it easy or even possible to write into the night.
Since early in high school I wanted to be a writer of economics and philosophy. I started doing it in my first year in college and have never ever stopped or even let up.
The next one to come…
I don’t like didactic books on writing, and if I’ve learned those things it is usually from editors.
I work at a very steady pace, and unless travel interferes I get something done every day. It never feels to me like I have low points, I suppose the low points for the author come in marketing the work, which can be repetitive and does not always involve the problem-solving skill in an interesting way.
I don’t draw such a big distinction. My academic writing was always relatively accessible, and my popular writing is relatively academic. For better or worse, I just don’t have that many modes.
I try to write a book that I would want to read. That isn’t easy! I then hope that a few of the rest of you can relate to that.