Here’s How Daniel Pink Writes

Here’s How Daniel Pink Writes

Reader Comments (37)

  1. I don’t know who in the hell you are, but I like you. We’re basically soulmates, if I can go that far. Except you answered Copyblogger’s question list, and mine is still in the spam pile. Guys, I’m NOT answering that list, and will you please stop bugging me about it?

    I’ve written 26, wait, 27 books at this point. Some are short – say 60 pages. Most are 100+. A couple are 300+. I also write best in the morning, but not too early or I’m a bit braindead. I stopped drinking at night and I found I can work another 2-3 hours. I’m 46 and now is the time to write my ass numb, not kick back at night with a nice Chianti and someone’s liver with fava beans.

    My favorite author is Thomas Harris – try to get that interview! Tom Clancy was good for the first couple. Who’s that nutty guy that used to work with Arrington? The drunk guy? I like how he writes. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness still cannot be beat.

    Keep the question / answer sessions coming, they’re easier reading than the rest of it.

    Cheers, MF

  2. It’s a huge relief to see that prolific writers face the same kinds of things I face on a daily basis when writing my stories.
    Terrific insight and this article really helps me see I’m not doing anything wrong. And there’s no shame to using Pomodoro! I use it all the time. 🙂
    More than any article you guys have run, this one shows me I’m doing okay and am on the right path in regards to my writing. Thanks for posting this.

      • Yes, Promodoro works best but I guess for a writer, the secret is to utilize those untouched portions of the brain. As one works for long hours, even if he takes 5-10 minutes brakes in between, productivity decreases because the brain actually carves out for a relief point.

        What you could do is, every time you feel utterly frustrated, instead of stressing yourself further, take a 20 minute nap. It works best for me and some others I recommended it to. But, don’t get away like that…before you take that quick frustration relief nap, note down somewhere, exactly what you’ll do right after you get up and you’ll find some really good inspiration flowing..

  3. Dan Pink reminds us that writing is hard. I love his quote… “Work harder. You might not believe it right now, but persistence almost always trumps talent.” So true. I know so many great authors who have never shipped.

    • Right on, John. Right on.
      I told this same thing to a fellow writer just last week. She’s a writing professor, outstanding grammar and structure. She submitted a story to a big award thing (I’ll keep the name of it out of here.) She didn’t even make it past the first round. She was so down about it. I told her whole mantra about that stuff is “screw em.” Just keep pushing, crafting, working harder at your art/business. You can only let yourself get down for a few minutes. Acknowledge it and move on, become better from it. It’s like Morgan Freeman said in Shawshank, all it takes is pressure and time. Substitute pressure for hard and smart work. Then success will be yours.

  4. Kelton’s questions and Mr. Pink’s answers form a wonderful reminder of the power–and joys–of the well-written word. Thanks to both of you!

  5. This was a nice piece of synchronicity since I watched Dan Pink’s TED talk just last night. It was refreshing to hear from someone who takes the mystery out of writing. It’s hard work and you just keep plugging away – no muses, no writer’s block. I use the Pomodoro technique, but didn’t know what it was called. Dang, I thought I made it up! 🙂 I use it for doing everything, not just writing, as I work better in bursts.

    • Work better in bursts, that’s exactly how I do things myself. I just don’t have a system yet about how to come back and finish those things I started which need finishing. That’s probably what you guys are calling the Pomodoro technique. I’m checking that out.

      I like this guy, Dan Pink. He’s down to earth and awfully smart. I like it when he dismisses fancy rituals or muses. Just, get down and work.

  6. Lovely interview. This is a good way of reminding bloggers that there are many ways to produce unique content. There are many bloggers on the scene, therefore, stepping up your game and staying ahead of the competition is paramount.

  7. Best words of the day, “muses are for amateurs — the rest of just show up and get to work.? At some point, in order to really launch, I had to learn that I had to break away from actually spending too much of my time and energy learning from others, admiring others’ work, networking extensively in hopes of setting inspirational coffee dates and lunch meetings. All of that is important, but even networking and learning from mentors has its place and can be used as a crutch if YOU or I never actually get to work and take the risk of putting our uniqueness out there for all to see. Awesome reminder!

  8. Oh I am just so happy to read this. So agree with the email thing…on the other hand I wouldn’t be reading this. And I’ve been greatly encouraged now to go use the pomodoro method, shut down all else but my Word and get to more writing. I believe…help me in my unbelief. (Oh and after I’m done writing, I might clear off my desk…all that clean open space looks inviting!)

  9. TWO GREAT QUOTES: 1. Do you believe in “writer’s block?? If so, how do you avoid it? Writer’s block is bunk. (I’d use a stronger word, but children may be reading.) It’s simply a sad excuse for not confronting the blinking cursor and your own inadequacies.
    2. Who or what is your “Muse? at the moment (i.e. specific creative inspirations)? To paraphrase Chuck Close, muses are for amateurs — the rest of just show up and get to work.
    I get so tired of “artistic types” who seem to make this sort of highfalutin talk suggest that they are a special breed… unlike the rest of us lowly humans. Perhaps “inspiration” is something different than just slogging along, but I love the Scripture quote of Abraham’s servant on a hunt for a wife for Isaac: Genesis 24:27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

  10. my fav line:

    “I’ve resisted conformity more often than I’ve succumbed to it.”

    This is an increasingly more difficult goal to obtain in this world of engineered group think.

  11. I love the creativity meaning given – “Giving the world something it didn’t know is was missing.” Great interview. Will buy your book, Mr Pink, “To Sell is Human”. Thank you!

  12. I love this interview, Dan seems pretty witty!

    I also work far better in the morning, and I need complete silence. I’ve tried listening to music whilst writing but it’s impossible, I focus too much on the music. I’m going to buy the ‘To Sell Is Human’ book as well, thanks!

  13. I thought A Whole New Mind was an amazing read. He’s really a talented writer. I also enjoyed his Ted talk, if you ever have the opportunity to see Dan Pink speak you definitely should take it.

    Great post.

  14. Great interview. Daniel comes across as very humble and realistic. It is good to get an insight from such an experienced and respected writer.

  15. Absolutely loving “The Writer Files”! Dan Pink’s pre-game ritual was awesome. Seems like a down-to-earth guy. Seeing the work spaces of these writers is great. Great post!


  16. Thank you so much for this great post. Very nice to get a glimpse of the every day (working) life of some one you admire.

    I think, Daniel Pink is a great author. I’ve read ‘Drive’ some time ago and it really helped me understand, what motivates myself and other people around me. I feel, facilitating autonomy, mastery, and purpose are at the utmost importance to companies (large or small) who want to make it into the 21st century.

    Looking forward to reading Pink’s new book ‘To sell is human’, which I just bought a couple of days ago.

  17. Awakening refreshed and energized after that, Dan Pink. Thanks for being real. I get your desire to write a fast, action thriller ‘narrative’ with zero analysis. What you imagine is what you get. Persistence and I’ll work harder!

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