The Harvard Gazette spoke with several of the prestigious university’s resident authors about where and how they write their books. Here’s what Silver Sparrow author and Radcliffe fellow Tayari Jones said:
Composing on an antique typewriter forces me to work a little slower, makes me pay closer attention to every word. I love the little bell that lets me know every time I’ve made it to the end of another line. And it doesn’t hurt that my 1919 Royal doesn’t have Internet access. That helps me stay focused.
Ideally, I write in the early morning. It’s a peaceful time of day, and there’s no one else awake competing for my attention. I say “ideally” because I’ve worked hard to train myself not to have any requirements for writing, only preferences. I want to know that I can do it anywhere and anytime, so that I never feel that my magic feather has been taken away from me. I love my typewriters, but I would use fingerpaints if that were all that was available.
As for me, I simply sit at my desk and hammer my thoughts out on my good ol’ MacBook Air. Whereas Tayari likes the peace and quiet of early mornings, I prefer the still tranquility of night. I feel much more productive when burning the midnight oil, and thankfully my Brooklyn neighborhood remains relatively quiet during the wee hours.
Are you a creative type? What’s your process like? Any must haves when creating? Is there a particular time of day you feel more productive? LMK in the comments below!
Photo of Tayari Jones by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer