In Peter Baker’s New York Times article today about the role of Jared Kushner (‘memba him??) in the final months of the Trump White House, one detail stood out to those of us whose fun little hobby is laboring over our laptops for years and years to create books. In the post-election day chaos of the White House:
[Kushner] even took an online MasterClass on how to write a book, taught by the prolific best-selling novelist James Patterson. In the course of a two-week stretch after the election, he secretly batted out 40,000 words of a first draft. The final version is set to be published in August.
Look, I am certainly not suggesting that we have to, under any circumstances, hand it to Jared Kushner. I am, however, suggesting that maybe we should all be taking James Patterson’s MasterClass? Because 40,000 words in two weeks, particularly for a person whose parents had to buy his way into college, much to the dismay of the administrators of his high school, requires… well, focus, at the very least. And the ability to remain in a chair for long stretches. And secrecy, apparently?
I’m especially fond of Baker’s phrasing—”batted out”!—because it evokes a bored cat smacking a keyboard, which feels apt. Though, of course, I’d prefer to read 40,000 by literally any cat than Kushner’s memoir, which will be released by Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, in August. Congratulations to James Patterson and absolutely no one else.