I chose to listen to Alison Gopnik’s interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XX-DD69lfQ). She is a writer who uses her family as a source for inspiration in her psychological work. Alison uses her own life in her books. She says that a psychological book about children falls into two categories. The first is about your own life: a memoir, an autobiography. The second is a self-help book: advice on how bringing up children should be done. Alison hopes for a balance between personal experience and scientific perspective in her book.
Alison needs a regular schedule. She sets time aside to write. Generally, Alison writes at her office: there are less distractions. Alison says that it takes her a while to get going, but once she has a story she then manages to maintain a high level. It flows and almost writes itself. Structure is key in her stories and that is what takes her a while to get going.
Alison writes at least a 100 drafts for each chapter: she re-writes and re-writes. That is the way to improve your writing and get good at it. Then she claims it becomes addictive.
Alison used to read a lot of fiction (loves Star Trek) but now has moved to reading biographies and diaries and history. This is because she tended to feel depressed after reading fiction.
Before the world reads it, her brother Adam and then Blake, a critic reads it. Her husband also reads it: she says he is a great reader: her audience. Her writing is about rhythm, what it “tastes” like. When something is well written you don’t notice the writing. If you stutter then the writing hasn’t been effective. Overall, Alison feels her writing has become cleaner and simpler. She is less nervous of being eloquent and poetic.