How to Tell if You’re a Writer

Question: Did you know from an early age that you would be a writer?

John Irving: I supposed I had a number of what I might call pre-writing moments as a kid. I recognized at a pretty early age, certainly I was pre-teens, I noticed that the school day was enough of a day to spend with my friends. I seemed to have a need to want to be alone. Even before I started making almost landscape notes in a journal, even before I started keeping a journal, which happened to me when I was fourteen, even before then I had a need to come home from school by myself and to be in a room by myself or in my grandmother's garden by myself. I guess the earliest sign was how much I liked being alone, how much I actually needed to be alone, the way you need, or I need, exercise or food or a certain amount of sleep. There was that desire to be, and a comfort, at being alone.

Recorded on: October 30, 2009

For John Irving, the need for a daily ration of solitude was his strongest "pre-writing" moment as a child.

This is the training any graphic designer should have. It’s on sale now for under $40.

Come to grips with the fundamentals of graphic design and master the field's top tools.

Gear
  • The School of Graphic Design Mastery Bundle covers basic industry philosophies and tools.
  • Special courses dig into branding techniques as well as using the Adobe Creative Cloud apps.
  • The $1,400 training course is available now for only $39.
Keep reading

What the world will look like 4°C warmer

Will your grandchildren live in cities on Antarctica?

Surprising Science

Micronesia is gone – sunk beneath the waves. Pakistan and South India have been abandoned. And Europe is slowly turning into a desert. This is the world, 4°C warmer than it is now. 

Keep reading

Why vaccines are absolutely necessary

Vaccines have done their job so well that anti-vax parents have forgotten the horror of contagious disease.

Videos
  • "Autism is caused by a lot of factors that we don't fully understand," says epidemiologist Dr Larry Brilliant, "but vaccines are not one of those factors."
  • Vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of children's lives—they have eradicated smallpox, nearly eradicated polio, and they have reduced the population explosion. How? Thanks to vaccinations, parents no longer expect 50% of their children to die from disease, so they have less children.
  • Vaccines have protected the lives of children so effectively that anti-vax parents—who only have their children's best interests at heart—have lost sight of how critical vaccines are. When polio was rampant in the U.S., parents waited in line for hours and hours to have their children vaccinated. Safety changes our mental calculus, but vaccinations must continue to ensure that safety lasts.
Keep reading