David Sedaris on his writing process

David Sedaris is one of the most beloved living authors. His works are revealing, humorous, and relatable. The above video provides a glimpse into how he approaches his craft.

He affirms advice an old mentor once gave me. That is, you do what comes easily to you. This man was a physicist. One might think, “Wow, that must have been hard to accomplish.” But it wasn’t for him. He was good at math, so it was natural. For Sedaris, that thing is writing. He is compelled to write more than he is disciplined.

There are five pillars to his process:

  1. Keep a diary
  2. Carry a notebook for more detailed diary entries
  3. Read and revise in front of an audience
  4. Just write, don’t worry about it being a masterpiece
  5. Read voraciously to learn how to make your words look like they belong in a book

These lessons aren’t all in that video. I summarized this article from Open Culture. You can check it out if you’re interested in learning more.