Arts & Entertainment, Writing

Writing Process

David Baldacci

Lesson time 11:29 min

David began writing when he was a full-time lawyer. He encourages you to be creative about making time to write and finding a writing process that works for you.

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Topics include: Find the Time to Write, No Matter What • Find the Process That Works for You • Immerse Yourself in the Material • Let Your Mind Wander • Self-Imposed Deadlines Are the Best Deadlines


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Pretty much every writer I've ever known when they-- starting out had another job, you know. And that certainly was my case. I was a trial lawyer for about a decade in Washington DC. And that was the time period where I was really focusing on all my novel writing career. I'd done screenplays, didn't have really any success. I thought, you know what? I want to attempt a novel. So here's how I broke it down. I had a family back then. I was married. I had one child at that time. And I worked. Regardless of whether you like lawyers or not, they work really long hours. Because that's how you make your money. You work hours, and you get paid by the hour. So for me, I had to find a time where it would work for me and my family and my professional career to be able to write. And I chose very late at night. Because I usually got up in the morning-- Washington DC traffic is terrible, so I had to leave early. I didn't have time to write in the morning. So I would come home. I would spend time with my family. They would go off to bed. And around 10:00, I would go downstairs in my little cubby. And I would write from like 10:00 until 2:00 in the morning every day, seven days a week. And I did that for years. And that may sound a little draconian. But trust me. If you really enjoy the craft of writing and you're really into your stories-- I remember like running down the stairs to my cubbyhole at 10:00 PM because that was my time. That's when I got to write what I wanted to write. During the day when I was working-- at my lunch hour, you know, if I had 30 minutes where I could eat a sandwich at my desk, I would pull out my notepad. And I'd start writing down some story ideas and notes that I wanted to work on that night. Or computer-- I'd pop on my computer and maybe bang out a page during lunch. During the course of the day, you can find a minute here or minute there. You can go out and take a walk, just a few minutes where you can build up stuff in your head so that when you go down-- if you're going to write at night or early in the morning-- you can hit the ground running. And you know where you want to go that night. I approached it brick by brick, much like I did my legal cases. I worked I did trial work. I did business deals. They're both involving little details. And so with my books, I would go down. And I would look a little bit each day. Here's my little goal. Here's what I want to accomplish. And I do. And I set it aside, and I think about it the next day. And I come back the next night, and I put another brick in the wall. [MUSIC PLAYING] A lot of times when people come up to me at parties or book events and stuff, they know I'm a writer. And they come up, you know, I think I could write a book if I could just find the time. And I'm always very encouraging to those people. I say, you know what? I think you can do. Everybody has a story in them. You know, try to find the time. Bu...

About the Instructor

David Baldacci has captivated readers across the world with gripping, suspense-fueled thrillers. Now the New York Times–bestselling author of 38 novels shares his techniques for crafting authentic characters, developing research-based plots, and navigating the world of publishing. Learn how to write a novel with red herrings, clues, and plot twists that will keep your readers turning the pages.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

David Baldacci

In his MasterClass, bestselling thriller author David Baldacci teaches you how he fuses mystery and suspense to create pulse-pounding action.

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