After-Work Journalist

Feb 9

Maud Newton’s intimidating schedule

I used to wonder how Maud Newton had managed to write so much great book journalism while also holding down what one of her bios calls “an incredibly unsexy day job in legal publishing.”

Then, recently, I came across a culture diary she kept for the Paris Review in 2010, which suggests the (somewhat unsurprising) answer is: by writing in every spare moment, including while standing (!) on the subway.

For someone who tells herself she needs to have cleared at least two hours before sitting down to work on any project, entries like this one are, uh, corrective:

1:00 P.M. Go downstairs, buy a salad. Open novel file. Write.

2:00 P.M. Resume work duties.

7:00 P.M. Edit novel draft all the way home, while sitting on the first train and then while standing on the second. Once we’re far enough out into Brooklyn, I can sit again.

8:30 P.M. While eating, continue reading Amis’ The King’s English.

9:00 P.M. Tinker with draft of Awl piece, which isn’t coming together.

10:00 P.M. Novel, novel, novel.

11:30 P.M. Light blogging.


  1. sweetpapers reblogged this from maudnewton
  2. tweexcore reblogged this from maudnewton and added:
    I’ve found the subway/writing on my phone surprisingly effective. Something about the enclosed, restless nature of the...
  3. afterworkjournalist reblogged this from maudnewton and added:
    One-handed phone typing? Editing with eyeliner?! I have so, so much to learn …
  4. maudnewton reblogged this from afterworkjournalist and added:
    If I’m using a pen (as I often am, though I have been known to edit my drafts with eyeliner) I’m usually tinkering with...