“When I write, I like to look like I’m recovering from tuberculosis. I sit in my bed, my laptop resting on a blanket or a Notre Dame sweatshirt on my lap. […] The blanket / sweatshirt keeps the laptop from getting too hot and radiating my ovaries. Which, everyone knows, makes your children come out with ADD. […]

“It’s always been incredibly challenging, for me, to put pen to page. Because writing, at its heart, is a solitary pursuit, designed to make people depressoids, drug addicts, misanthropes, and other anti-social wierdos. (See every successful writer except Judy Blume.) […]

“The internet also makes it extraordinarily difficult for me to focus. One small break to look up exactly how many Kardashian children there are, and four hours later I’m reading about the Donner Party and texting all my friends, ‘Did you guys know about the Donner Party and how messed-up that was? Text me back so we can talk about it.’

“I’ve found my productive-writing-to-screwing-around ratio to be 1 to 7. So, for every 8-hour day of writing, there’s only one good, productive hour of work being done. The other seven hours are preparing for writing: pacing around the house, collapsing cardboard boxes for recycling, reading the DVD Extras pamphlet from the BBC Pride & Prejudice, getting snacks lined up for writing, and youtubing toddlers who have learned the “Single Ladies” dance. I know, isn’t that horrible? So basically, writing this piece took me the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Enjoy it accordingly.”

Mindy Kaling, from Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)

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