NYT职业文字工作者的写作和读书习惯

来源于NYT 的两篇文章

The Case for Writing Longhand: ‘It’s About Trying to Create That Little Space of Freedom’

Molly Young Is Thinking About Buying a Wheelbarrow

第一篇文中说的是两位编辑用手写初稿的习惯(大多数还是直接电脑敲的,手写的还是少数)

两位介绍的作者分别是Sam Anderson (a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine )  和  A.O. Scott (co-chief film critic)

Sam Anderson 的手写工具是

- an extra fine black Pilot Vball pen

- a stylus on a reMarkable 2 digital tablet

A.O. Scott 的手写工具

- a 5-by-8-inch Moleskine notebook and a pen

选择手写的原因:

1. 感觉和文字更近

... the process slows him down and puts him in touch with his thoughts.

2. 避免用电脑带来的分心

Composing on a laptop, he said, also presents endless opportunities for procrastination. “It’s hard to get truly quiet or focused,” he said. “Writing by hand takes away 17 million options for distraction.”

另外值得一提的是Sam Anderson 写作不是按照顺序写下来的,会是分块来写的,最后再把几块排下先后顺序,构成一篇文章(He writes scenes in chunks and then spends hours trying to arrange them.)。他觉得这样的写作可以让他的文章结构更有特点,文中举例了他六月写的关于NBA 球星 Kevin Durant 的文章。

下面是前六段的内容

Ok, why not, let’s start with the asteroid. Thirty-five million years ago, a giant space rock, two miles wide, came screaming out of the sky and crashed into Earth. It struck the eastern edge of the landmass we know today as North America. And it unleashed an apocalypse. The asteroid hit with the power of many nuclear bombs. It hit so hard that it vaporized itself and cracked the bedrock seven miles down. It incinerated whole forests, killed all life in the area, sent super-tsunamis ripping out across the Atlantic. You can still find remnants of the trauma (shocked quartz, fused glass) as far away as Texas and the Caribbean.Where it hit, the rock left a scar: a giant smoldering hole more than 50 miles across.Eons passed. The world turned cold. Glaciers started crawling down from the north, with irresistible slowness, inching their way toward the asteroid hole, grinding up the landscape, dragging boulders and carving valleys. Then they stopped. They started to melt. The glaciers bled ice water, and little trickles went rolling downhill, braiding themselves into rivers, seeking low places in the landscape.Eventually, inevitably, the water found the asteroid hole. The ancient crater sucked down streams like a shower drain. It flooded and overflowed, expanding its borders, mingling freshwater and seawater, filling up with creatures of all kinds: oysters, fishes, turtles, dolphins, otters, pelicans, newts. Little blue crabs scuttled through its grasses.Today we call that waterlogged space-hole the Chesapeake Bay. It is the largest estuary in the United States, a jackpot of fertility, home now to more than 18 million people — and for 400 years it has been a vortex of American history: Jamestown, revolution, tobacco, the Underground Railroad. Frederick Douglass used to watch sails gliding across the Chesapeake Bay and dream of being free.I could tell you about that asteroid hole forever.But the reason I am telling you now is that Kevin Durant, the basketball superstar, grew up next to it — so close that he can tell you how many blue crabs come in a bushel. On a recent afternoon, when the Brooklyn Nets had a day off, I told Durant the story of the asteroid and the glaciers and the formation of the Chesapeake Bay.

可以看到这篇文章的前5段说的都是asteroid,到第六段才引入文章主角Kevin Durant。

可能就是这种不按先后顺序来书写的习惯,让他的文字比较有新意吧。

第二篇文章有介绍书评专栏的编辑Molly Young 读书的习惯。

因为是做书评的,所以免不了要同时读很多的书(Molly Young often reads three to six books at a time),这时候她会选择每两小时换一本书来读(Under that workload, she says, she likes to spend two hours with one book, then change to another)。

开始读一本书以后,是不是一定要读完一本书?

如果是文字工作者,那当然一定要读完,因为每一本你不喜欢的书可能各有各的不尽如人意之处,而只有读完以后,才能比较清楚文字到底在哪里。

如果是休闲阅读,那没有必要读完,生命很短(I don’t think people should feel obligated to finish a book that they’ve started. Life is too short)。

每日的阅读是如何安排的?

时间:

I basically just read for 10 hours a day, and I take notes.

地点:

( 因为居家办公,所以说的都是家里的地点) three places in the apartment where I read. I work either at the kitchen table, the living room sofa or in my little office, which is crammed with books. I like to rotate among these three places throughout the day according to the light. I tend to follow the sunlight, like a cat.

如果喜欢文字,可以尝试着给阅读和写作增加一些“怪癖”,也挺有意思。

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