author / choosing joy / messy middle / podcast / Season 6

The Creative Process and Writing ‘Strange Love’ During the Pandemic with Author Fred Waitzkin

In this episode, I’m delighted to have Fred Waitzkin return for his second interview, this time to talk about his brand new book “Strange Love.” Fred is the author of “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” which is based on his experiences with his son Josh who was a chess prodigy at age 7. In this new interview, we talk about his latest book (Strange Love), his time during COVID in New York and Costa Rica, and what drew him to write a story based in Costa Rica, and his writing process.

What I love about this conversation is the way that Fred talks about his creative process. I find that creating a podcast weekly also takes a good deal of creativity, for my clients and for myself. It’s always interesting to me to learn how other creative people tap into creative flow. Fred uses real life to inspire the events of his book, and he talks about three key things as far as how he goes about writing:
– letting writing come from a pre-conscious place
– writing quickly to get ideas out
– leaving space for the reader to fill in gaps with their own interpretation and experiences
– allowing himself gaps of time in between books to find new inspiration

Joy in the messy middle
Fred talks about how his time during the pandemic has been spent between Costa Rica and New York City. He has found that noticing the little moments, whether it be a walk on the beach with a dog, spending time talking to his wife and family, or hugging his grandchildren have been the greatest joys in the messy middle.

In this conversation, Fred Waitzkin and I talk about:
– his new book, Strange Love, and how he crafted the characters
– his inspiration for writing, often taken from day to day life and people he knows
– Costa Rica and New York City during the COVID pandemic
– his creative process in writing
– how the pandemic has changed us as people
– the resurgence of interest in his book, Searching for Bobby Fischer, after the release of The Queen’s Gambit

Fred Waitzkin’s website
Strange Love by Fred Waitzkin
Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin
Fred’s first interview on Jump Start Your Joy