Malcolm Gladwell, on writing

December 31, 2012 § 1 Comment



So, Malcolm Gladwell might be a secret spokesman for Big Tobacco. He knows how to tell a story. He was and remains a huge reason I’m doing what I do today. I don’t care how much he makes per speaking engagement—when his next book comes out in 2013, you bet I’ll be buying it—and taking notes.

Gladwell spoke on writing at Yale earlier this year. Here he is:

Gladwell called his entry into journalism “accidental,” having failed to find a job in advertising, but his journalistic interests stem from a passion for “telling stories.” Though his work has garnered widespread acclaim, he said he does not consider himself an original thinker. He does not “generate ideas” for his work, he said, but instead draws ideas from academic papers and finds ways to “make those ideas come alive.”

“I’m not doing the original work,” Gladwell said. “There’s that bird on the back of the elephant that picks off the ticks — I am the bird.”

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