Steven Johnson (author of “The Ghost Map” and “The Invention of Air”) visited Barnes & Noble in Seattle’s University Village last week to discuss his latest book, “Where Good Ideas Come From.” Afterward, I asked him about the routines of his daily writing life.
Because his new book explores the history of ideas, particularly the circumstances and spaces in which creativity grows and hunches are nurtured, it seemed appropriate to learn where his own ideas and words come from. In his book, Johnson shows how coffee shop culture has traditionally been a breeding ground for innovation. For Johnson, working solo in his Brooklyn studio, it turns out a huge cup of coffee helps him reach his 500-word-a-day quota, as does a little wine and a software program called Devonthink.
To learn more about the new book, here’s a fun book trailer video for “Where Good Ideas Come From.” Here’s Johnson’s TED talk at Oxford in July of 2010. Here’s an interview with Publisher’s Weekly. And here’s the author’s website.