Here’s video of my chat with David Epstein, author of Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. Our conversation, as we had hoped, ranged all over the place. Of particular interest to me:
1. He told me he reads a lot of fiction to try to pick up interesting approaches to structure. He credited his experience helping a film editor friend who had a hand injury — literally sitting there all day and clicking the mouse for him — as hugely instructive. (This didn’t surprise me, as I learned a ton about writing from film editor Walter Murch’s book, In the Blink of an Eye.) He also said that he’s taken fiction classes.
2. As for his reading diet, he said he reads The London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, and New Scientist to sort of get leads on what to read next.
3. He keeps “a book of small experiments,” where he forces himself, if he gets in “a rut of competence,” to try out and learn new things.
Here are my prep notes:
Thanks, David! Check out his newsletter, Range Widely.