The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience

Hosted ByKelton Reid

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

All Episodes

How Bestselling Author & Pulitzer-Winner Geraldine Brooks Writes

Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Geraldine Brooks, spoke to me about why “truth is stranger than fiction,” letting story drive narrative, and the overheard conversation that led to her latest, “Horse.”

How Co-Creator of Emmy-Winning “How I Met Your Mother” Carter Bays Writes

Seven-time Emmy nominee and co-creator of the hit TV series “How I Met Your Mother,” Carter Bays, spoke to me about working with David Letterman, being a recovering TV writer, and his debut novel “The Mutual Friend.”

How NY Times Bestselling Author Clare Pooley Writes

New York Times bestselling author, Clare Pooley, spoke to me about rising from the ashes, writing as therapy, her nostalgia for the bygone commute, and her latest “Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting.”

How Acclaimed Debut Horror Author Isabel Cañas Writes

Mexican-American writer and historian, Isabel Cañas, spoke to me about how to binge-write a novel, her fear of the dark, and swinging for the fences with her gothic debut “The Hacienda.”

How NY Times Bestselling Novelist Emma Straub Writes

New York Times bestselling author, Emma Straub, spoke to me about why everything in life is timing, how to write a book for yourself, time travel, and her latest “This Time Tomorrow.”

How Award-Winning Novelist & Pulitzer Finalist Hernan Diaz Writes

#PodcastersForJustice Award-winning author and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Hernan Diaz, spoke to me about rejection, his unusual path to literary stardom, subverting reader expectations, and his latest novel “Trust.“ Hernan...

How Bestselling Author & Podcast Host Elizabeth Day Writes

Award-winning author and broadcaster, Elizabeth Day, talked to me candidly about How to Fail, hanging out with Gloria Steinem, genre equality, and how she wrote her “compeller,” Magpie.

How Award-Winning Author Michelle Huneven Writes

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author, Michelle Huneven, talked to me about her former life as an LA food critic, how to write self-referential fiction, and the spiritual detective work behind her latest novel “Search.”

How Emmy-Nominated TV Writer & Novelist Sascha Rothchild Writes

Emmy-nominated screenwriter and author, Sascha Rothchild, spoke to me about her humble beginnings in LA, working with Marc Maron on GLOW, and how to write a “bingeable” thriller like her debut, “Blood Sugar.”

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