Episode Number 38Daniel Pink on Writing with Discipline

As the author of five provocative books including the long-running New York Times bestsellers, A Whole New Mind and Drive as well as his new book To Sell Is Human, Daniel H. Pink knows a thing or two about the practice of writing. In fact, he considers the work he puts into his writing akin to the manner in which an athlete practices a sport. Pink was kind enough to sit down with us and share a bit about the discipline he uses to power his work.

Show Notes

With a build up like that, author Dan Pink was quick to tell us that his answers would be "sad and disappointing." (His words!) He doesn't have a smoking jacket and a pipe that he wears while hunching over a historic typewriter. What he does have is a structured routine. Pink starts each day with a 22-step commute to his office, a converted one-car garage behind his Washington D.C. home where he can surround himself with the piles of research he amasses that inform what he's working on. "Writing is hard work," states Pink which is why he approaches his job like a bricklayer, accomplishing things brick by brick.

The task itself is a mix of what he describes as "boring office writing and research" and experiential interviews where he may be at a used car lot, talking to a Fuller Brush salesman, or taking an improv course. When he's in the office writing, he sets a daily word count quota. He doesn't permit himself to do anything else — check emails, read the newspaper, surf the web, etc. — until he hits that daily quota. What's Pink's word count number? You'll have to listen to the show to find out.

For shout outs and shameless plugs, Nick mentioned his research study looking at social media use in the heartland, Social Scene Midwest. If you're from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, help us out and take the survey now. DJ gave a shout to … our listeners! Thanks for subscribing, commenting, and reaching out! We couldn't do it without you. Dan pointed us to DanPink.com where you can find info about his books and more.

Until next week, see you on the Internet!

If you've already hit your daily word count quota — If you liked what you heard (or even if you didn't), head over to iTunes and give us a quick rating and review to help others find the show.
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