Here’s How Brian Clark Writes

Here’s How Brian Clark Writes

Reader Comments (49)

  1. It’s great to see how so much can happen (actually change) for the better within the space of 7 years for those who truly work at it. I think it would be nice for X files to add the questions like (To motivate those who’d like to be like the great personalities interviewed)…

    “How many times did you think of throwing in the towel?”

    “Did people around you think you were going to succeed?”

    “Did you believe it was ever going to get this big?”

    • Excellent suggestions, Chimezirim! As one fairly new to the business world, I was amazed to learn through the book “Start Something that Matters” by the founder of TOM’S Shoes, that even the “experts” have bad days. (They always look and sound so good in those interviews! 😉 Since then, I have heard many others talk about the “importance” of making mistakes – and learning from them to rise again. I agree with your suggestions as useful and encouraging information to glean. Thanks and God bless you in your endeavors – mistakes and all! 🙂

  2. So nice to see Brian so loose, candid, sarcastic, and curt. I found myself chuckling even when you dodged the question, which was much of the time. The non-answers were as informative as the real ones. Also, very cool to see the writing habitat. Thank you for letting us in.


    • So nice to see Brian so loose, candid, sarcastic, and curt.

      In other words, you guys get to see him the way we do all the time. 🙂 Hats off to Kelton for the idea for the series & for making it happen, I think this will be a good one.

      • What a refreshing way to see Brian and I agree with you Sonia, well done Kelton for shedding some light on Brian!

        My favourite serious answer from Brian was how much time he spent reading/researching per day. My favourite comical answer was the response to the question of what he would like to do more of this coming year. Hahaha

        Great stuff and looking forward to the rest!

    • I’d like to know too. That little sound-proofing box for the microphone is pretty cool. Is that custom-made? I need to a link to buy one NOW! Thanks.

      • Oh, you mean what is it? The mic is a Blue Yetti. There’s another Yetti inside the box (where it’s supposed to be), but it malfunctioned so I just pulled out my old one.

        The box is called a Porta-Booth Pro, available from Amazon. It’s actually a professional-grade mobile sound box — you can pack it up and take it to record in hotels, or any location that you need to improve the acoustics.

  3. I enjoyed his irreverent style – yet still passionate and his answers inspiring, even encouraging. I really like to work things out in my head as well before commiting to writing and am sometimes criticzed for that. And the sarcasm and sense of humor fantastic!

  4. Great interview, but who is this Brian Clark anyway? Doesn’t matter. I like him. Especially since he is a fan of Dostoevsky. 😉

    Would be great to see a line up of future interviews.

        • Dostoevsky is really first. Crime and Punishment is my favorite novel of all time, and who doesn’t read Notes from Underground when they need cheering up? 😉

          Philip K. Dick is obviously great. What I like about Gibson is his writing style and obsessive detailing — something I’ve always struggled with. Reading Gibson initially convinced me I couldn’t write, until I figured out I didn’t have to write like him.

  5. Tech related: Great you deliver now this blog texts responsive ‘blowing up’ the font size! No need anymore to toggle around in my FF for zoom in. I am not on old guy with bad eyes but this is more pleasant to read in big letters on my 24 screen. It’s not always an IPad 🙂
    Another great improvement from my favorite innovative team. Thank you.

  6. How can an interview like this hold such power? Loved the answers – and the avoidance of answers – and seeing his office. Brian has helped me a lot.

  7. I learned two things from this article:
    1. Brian’s dead-on when he says that some writers do not always need to write. By “write” I personally mean sitting down to one 500+ word-piece a day; so many of us think we need to do this, and when we don’t we feel like failures. But I’ve found that if I have “days off” of writing, I still communicate via social media, email, comments (like now), and then on the days I need to produce a longer piece, it’s easier to focus.
    2. Brian’s a lot punnier than I could ever be.

  8. This is a great interview and it seems really open and honest. It’s great to see so many good questions…I am still working through the answer part and the bad twitter jokes!

    But I am lost on the plastics, but maybe it’s just me and I am a bit slow on these type of things!

    Great interview,


    • Great and inspiring interview! It’s vivid you like what you do, Brian. But does it happen to you that you have no inspiration for writing at all? What do you usually do for coping with this (probably listen to some particular music or spend time with your kids, or read books, etc.)? And what is the most important for a writer to be in a good professional form?

  9. A writer that wants to grow in height. Never thought I’d see the day!

    Love the humility that comes across – shame you didn’t get Clark to take his glasses off.


    Great interview.


  10. Gotta love it when a writer gets real. Thanks for sharing such a great interview and a fun story. Each of us with a passion hopes for unparalleled success, no matter how we define it.

  11. This was a really great read. I found it through Ramsay (from BlogTyrant) and I’m pretty glad I did. I really liked: “Reading like a crazy person taught me how to use words. Writing every day taught me how to use words in my own voice.”

    Oh, and also the definition of creativity was bang on.

    Have to say though, probably should throw Bryce Courtenay into the mix as an all time favourite. That’s a writer that creates a world where reading teaches you how to use words in your own voice! 😉

    Thanks for posting a great interview!

  12. Thanks for giving us this writer’s insight to Brian Clark. I thought, maybe, just maybe, he was a character on Copyblogger. And… I now have the Eminem song, “The Real Slim Shady ” in my head, except the lyric is changed to “Will the real Brian Clark please stand up? Please stand up?” 🙂

    It’s amazing how unique a writer’s office is. I couldn’t have a Pacman or Ms. Pacman arcade game in my office because I would spend too much time trying to beat my high score. It’s bad enough Xbox and Playstation 3 are in the house. Then again, I do like to workout to Just Dance 4.

  13. I used to work at a place that had Galaga in their game room.

    On lunch breaks, I would routinely destroy a fellow coworker at Galaga. I mean, like, totally humiliate the guy.

    He is now on the Copyblogger Media editorial team. I won’t mention his name. But here’s a fun little puzzle if you really want to know who it is. (Naimed Thrownraf)

  14. Very relate-able writer! I especially appreciated the answers to the “focus” question and the one about goals in the coming year. Thanks for some good laughs and good advice!

  15. I always enjoy reading the easy and fun stuff that take you away from the twitter quotes that people pull out of a lost book of quotes from twenty years ago. I really enjoyed this one.

  16. If you like listening to wordless, ambient music while writing, I recommend Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports”.
    As for tips on how to stay organized, have you tried It rocks.

  17. There is a Ms. PacMan in my office, too! Of course, by “office” I mean “living room”. Now, if I could just be more like Brian in a few other, more important ways…

  18. Favorite quote: “Reading Gibson initially convinced me I couldn’t write, until I figured out I didn’t have to write like him.”

    Coming at the series like I do some books… from Seth to Brian. Great getting the inside scoop on who does what, how, when and why. Seth writing everyday. Brian writing (it sounds like) when the urge strikes.

    I’m more of a Brian-type when it comes to writing, with the desire to lean more in the direction of Seth. My problem is the field I’ve been in for so very long (helping the totally new, and loving it, with the full intention of “doing a Seth” in 2013). Then I throw Jon Morrow into the mix and end up scraping my brains off the ceiling.

    So without a doubt, I’m still hunting for that fine line…

    Also noting the dates, Kelton, so Outlook pops. I do get Copyblogger via email, but I get a TON of email.

    Oh, and Brian don’t be alarmed, but I believe I’ll be stalking you now and into the future. So if you DO have plans to hide, start making them! 🙂

  19. You really inspired me a lot Brian..

    I’m going to stick with your advice to make my dream happen..

    You’re awesome!

    Thanks Brian, Kelton.

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