Casey Cep wrote this beautiful must-read profile of one of my all-time favorite novelists and essayists. It's entitled Marilynne Robinson's Essential American Stories. I always look for the parts that talk about how writers write, and there's this paragraph:
“There was teaching, and there are deadlines for talks or things, but mostly I have control of my time, and what I do with it is keep to myself,” she says. “I am grateful for my life, for my time. I read and think. I have been privileged to do almost exclusively what I want." She wakes up with a couple of cups of coffee, reads at least one and usually two newspapers, and then settles into writing, often while listening to music. (The soundtrack for “Housekeeping” was Bessie Smith; “Jack” was written with a contemporary-gospel station playing in the background.) She generally writes her fiction by hand in spiral notebooks and her nonfiction on her laptop. She can go weeks without opening the mail, and, if she likes a movie, she may see it four times. Before the coronavirus, her only regular socializing was her weekly church service (lately on Vimeo), though a few very close friends managed to draw her out, usually at their invitation and sometimes at their insistence.
I'm such a fan of Marilynne Robinson that I nicknamed my Kindle John Ames.