“I have two com­put­ers, at dif­fer­ent ends of a room.”

Fast Company - - Secrets Of The Most Productive People - LEE CHILD AU­THOR

I start writ­ing on the first day of Septem­ber. That was the day I started my first book, so it’s kind of sen­ti­men­tal, but it’s also com­mon sense. I pub­lish a book a year, so this gives me a struc­ture, which is use­ful.

I drink about 30 cups of cof­fee a day. I like to work be­fore I eat. If I’m hun­gry, then I’m on the ball. I have two com­put­ers, at dif­fer­ent ends of a room. One is con­nected to the in­ter­net, and one isn’t. When I want to go on­line, I have to walk across the room, which usu­ally dis­in­cen­tivizes me.

When I start [a book], I have no idea what the plot is go­ing to be. I try to come up with a good open­ing sen­tence, and then I think, “Great,” and go from there. I write about 2,000 words a day. I don’t re­vise, be­cause I have this men­tal odd­ity where I think once the story is writ­ten, chang­ing it would feel dis­hon­est. You can’t do that in real life. I get clar­ity from do­ing hyp­notic tasks. Many writ­ers get ideas in the shower. You don’t have to con­cen­trate, so you can let your mind wan­der. I feel the same way when I drive. It clears my mind.

The day I start writ­ing, my cre­ativ­ity ex­plodes in ev­ery di­rec­tion ex­cept the book I have to work on. I’ll start a project, like re­dec­o­rat­ing my apart­ment, when I should be fo­cus­ing. I have some dis­tance from the idea of be­ing a writer. It’s just work. I don’t ex­pect to win a No­bel prize, I just want to give peo­ple a good time for a cou­ple days a year. —As told to Yasmin Gagne

Time he gets up Be­tween 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

First thing he does in the morn­ing”

“I have cof­fee.”

Pro­duc­tiv­ity phi­los­o­phy

“I have a motto:

‘I’m not afraid of stress; stress is afraid of me.’ It helps me plow through.”

Last thing he does at night “Of­ten I smoke a joint, to re­lax.”

What he does with 15 min­utes of free time

“I like to read some­one else’s book.”

Time he goes to bed

Be­tween 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

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