Many people will simply recognise John Hodgman as the face of PC in the ‘Get a Mac’ commercials that aired on television between 2006 and 2009. But Hodgman is also a former literary agent and a very talented comedy writer. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and Wired, and he is the author of three books including The Areas of My Expertise, described as “a lavish compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom – all of it completely unresearched, completely undocumented and (presumably) completely untrue, fabricated by the illuminating, prodigious imagination of John Hodgman, certifiable genius.”
In this video recorded for Radical Media’s THNKR, Hodgman shares his tips on how to make it as a writer.
“ I wish I had a formula, I wish I had a way of proceeding that would be kind of, you know, this is what Chapter One is always like, and this is what Chapter Two is always like. But it isn’t. I just have to plunge into it. And it’s usually the one . . . that the voice of sanity and reason is telling me not to write. It’s usually that one that I end up writing.”
In this interview recorded for bigthink.com, 74-year-old Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood explains her creative process.
“All writing, all art is just a wild leap off a cliff because there’s nothing to support you. You’re creating something out of nothing, really. No one’s telling you to do it. It comes from within, and it’s a very mysterious process, at least for me. I still don’t understand how I write a story or a book. I don’t understand how it happens. I mean, I know it takes time, I know it takes effort, I know it takes lots and lots of drafts and hours, but I still really don’t understand the internal mechanism of how it really happens.”
Jhumpa Lahiri is a Pulitzer Prize-winning short story writer and novelist. Her work first appeared in The New Yorker in 1998. In the following short film produced by the iconic literary magazine, Lahiri discusses her creative process and the gratification she felt when readers around the world first responded so positively to her work.
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has sold over 25 million copies in North America alone. With each volume weighing in at close to a thousand pages or more, writing each instalment is quite a time consuming process. On Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show last month, Martin shared why, despite his phenomenal success (or perhaps because of it), he still uses a computer from the 1980s.
Who is the new Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, or Gogol waiting to be discovered by the English-speaking world? Russia’s Open Book: Writing in the Age of Putin, hosted by Stephen Fry, seeks to answer this question.
This documentary gives a fascinating insight into the work of six contemporary Russian authors. Hosted by celebrated writer and actor Stephen Fry, it features interviews with Dmitry Bykov, Mariam Petrosyan, Zakhar Prilepin, Vladimir Sorokin, Anna Starobinets and Ludmila Ulitskaya.