John McPhee

Why It Takes All Day

Silk Parachute “On a sentence-by-sentence level, it’s more spontaneous. In other words, I know what I want to have said when I’m finished with this writing, but I really don’t know, when I’m down to the nub of it to address it, what’s going to happen. I mean I know where it should go, but it certainly isn’t — the phraseology — is not prefabricated and that’s why it takes me all day to get one sentence written.”

~ John McPhee, discussing his writing process and his new collection of essays, Silk Parachute, with Michael Silverblatt on KCRW’s Bookworm (March 18, 2010).