Time magazine has printed a couple of pictures from Barack Obama’s prom night. Along with the great photographs of a future president looking very fine in a white jacket, the post includes a yearbook inscription where the president not only shows incipient smooth jazz DJ tendencies, but most impressively deploys a semicolon.
Read the full note, with extra foxy in the original form here.
I don’t have one writing process. I have several. I have been writing with purpose for almost 30 years. I hope one day I figure out how to do it. This is what a recent process looked like for one of my daily stories:
I mapped out the ideas on a large piece of art paper, choosing whatever color seemed right. Then I wrote a quick half outline of how those ideas would flow. Then I started writing on white paper with a pencil. I wrote from top to bottom. If I had a thought that I knew would come later, I started a new sheet, captured it and returned to what I was writing. I then dictated the 12 handwritten pages into my computer using Dragon. I edited as I read out loud. Then I printed it and did a pretty serious edit on the paper, before sending it to my editor.
I have no idea if this helped. It did feel more systematic than my normal routine which is to write an outline, get halfway through and then just start writing.
John Dickerson: In seventh-grade math class I was a new student at this fancy private school and I finally got enough courage to answer a question, and the teacher said, “That answer makes no sense. It’s like if I asked you what color the chalk board is and you said ‘fast.’ ” It really took me aback because until that point I didn’t even know fast was a color.