What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: What is your writing schedule?

John Irving: Well, when I'm not interrupted by traveling, or school holidays for children--those kinds of things--I get up pretty early. I feed the dog, I'm usually at my desk, [by] you know, 7:30, 8:00 in the morning and I work for eight or nine hours a day and I work seven days a week. But there are a lot of interruptions. I have three children, I have four grandchildren, I travel a lot. So I can't say that I work, you know, seven or eight hours a day seven days a week every week, but when I'm left to my own choices, that's what I do.

Question: How often do you change the events once you start writing?

John Irving: Very, very little. Sometimes in the middle of the story, there are things that can be moved around. The beginning doesn't change much, the ending never changes, but sometimes in the middle of the story, an event that I had imagined might be in the vicinity of the fifth or sixth chapter will actually end up being in the eighth or ninth chapter. So, I take a little bit more liberty with the chronology of events, the order in which I'm going to tell the reader certain things, I take more liberties with those things in the middle of the story, but they don't change, it's just their placement that moves sometimes.

Recorded on: October 30, 2009

More from the Big Idea for Tuesday, May 18 2010

 

John Irving’s Creative Sche...

Newsletter: Share: