He writes six or seven days a week, starting at 7 a.m. He's often hoarse at the end of the day because he performs his dialogue out loud as he writes it. . . . Franzen works in a rented office that he has stripped of all distractions. He uses a heavy, obsolete Dell laptop from which he has scoured any trace of hearts and solitaire, down to the level of the operating system. Because Franzen believes you can't write serious fiction on a computer that's connected to the Internet, he not only removed the Dell's wireless card but also permanently blocked its Ethernet port. "What you have to do," he explains, "is you plug in an Ethernet cable with superglue, and then you saw off the little head of it."Wow. I thought Leechblock and turning off the wireless router was a big step in the right direction, but Franzen is really committed to driving a stake through the heart of the distraction. Well done!
In other news, I talked with some colleagues today, and naturally the talk turned to writing. One confessed that he'd had a good month. How much did he write? Let's just say it's in the tens of thousands of words. In a month. On a scholarly project. Envious? I am.
More Jonathan Franzen writing inspiration.