Newspaper Columnist: What It Feels Like

Last week I invited well-known writers to record the sound of themselves as they write. “Strange request,” one replied, but agreed to do it anyway.

This week, three of those writers delivered the audio files. And today one of the pieces of writing went online, so you can actually read it while listening to the tappetty-tap of fingertips on keyboard.

The image above shows the patterns of sound, which you can hear on my podcast, here:

If you want, you can find out immediately who the writer is, and read the finished article while you listen.

But I recommend that you listen first, to really “feel” the writing process – the flurries of words, the moments of silence, the bit where a cup is put down on a table.

You have the advantage over me: I’ve no idea what it’s like to listen to this audio without already knowing the writer. Nor do I have any idea what benefit it will have (if any) for you to listen in that salutary ignorance.

I don’t want to give away the identity of this writer, so I’m going to say an impersonal THANK YOU (you know who you are). Everybody else: if you download the writer’s work, here, you’ll see who exactly I’m thanking:

Download the Writing by X

X's Friday Column in The Times.pdf (2.0 MB)