Binge Writing

Michael Lewis may not necessarily be guilty of procrastination, but he is guilty of binge writing. The author responsible for The Blind Side, Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, Losers, and a number of other New York Times best-sellers has some seriously eccentric writing habits. Michael Lewis himself admits that he habitually writers from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. Not only does he follow a bizarre daily writing schedule, he also writes excessively for weeks and even months at a time followed with dry spells. Lewis claims he gets the “total immersion feeling by writing at midnight.” He admits that he can be mentally absent when he is in the midst of a new project and that absence can take a toll on his wife kids. Now that Lewis is married with a family he tries to write at more appropriate hours so that he is able to spend time with his family. Nonetheless, Lewis still requires total immersion when he writes so he closes the blinds, puts in headphones, and does whatever it takes to capture the “writing at midnight” ambiance he craves. Lewis’ writing process is intense as it is unique. The following quote by Lewis helps put in perspective the intensity in his approach.

“I think my readers would be surprised to know just how agonizing it is, how sweat-intensive, how messy, how many drafts I write, how much doubt I have about the quality of prose. It might deter them from wanting to be writers.” -Michael Lewis in Why We Write

Lewis is one example and I doubt too many other writers can or desire to mirror his process. It works for Lewis.

Maran, Meredith. Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do. New York: Plume, 2013. Print


One thought on “Binge Writing

  1. alivalerio March 16, 2015 / 12:19 am

    Thanks for sharing! This sounds like a pretty eccentric guy, and I enjoyed reading about his crazy writing process. I’ve heard of writers who work late into the night, but this guy goes all night long! It was nice to see that part about trying to balance his work with his family life, because I think that’s something that’s really significant to anyone trying to juggle work and family. We may think sometimes that since writers often work from home, they don’t have to worry too much about this balance struggle. Yet we see hear that it can still be a challenge. Lewis found an approach to his writing, strange though it may be, and it obviously brought him success. With that, I say kudos to him.


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