How To Write A Book In One Day

I am a sucker for hearing about how different people hit their flow state. The state where whatever they are making pours from their brain like water into a glass in front of them. 

Miles improvising. 

Biggie freestyling. 

Kerouac writing on the road. 

These are people who understood the product they wanted to make, and that it was a function of the process by which they made it. 

This story in WSJ caught my attention (h/t David G. for sending it over) – “How Jesse Ball Wrote a Book in One Day.” 

Here’s a quote I’ve been thinking about since I read it:

Too many novels, Ball contends, take for granted that one kind of event follows another. In doing so, they imply that life is not random, that instead we can look backward and recognize a pattern or narrative. In real life, though, he says, there are no clean through lines. 

“The speed of writing is an attempt to not have my originating ‘self’ that surrounds and creates the work shift too much,” says Ball. “In my composition, it’s quite necessary to have it be quick.” 

I love a good edit, but Ball’s way of getting unfiltered on paper is inspiring. 

It might not be for everybody, but again – the process and the finished product are deeply linked. The better we understand the connection, the better we can get to the right state of mind.