Making art—and a biography is a work of art, more or less—is a strange sensation. During your working hours you really do watch the rest of the world from a window, yet at the same time you don’t fully feel the act of creation in which you’re involved. Hours slip by without your being aware of their passing, and all at once you look up and the sun has set. On Wednesday I got up at eight, went to work at eight-thirty, and stopped writing at six-forty-five to dress for the theater, and the only person I spoke to during that time (except for a brief call to Mrs. T in Connecticut at midday) was the waitress from whom I ordered my lunch. When I was done I’d written eight thousand words, the equivalent of eight Wall Street Journal drama columns, yet I barely noticed that I was writing them until I was through. I was thinking about the last eight years of Louis Armstrong’s life and turning my thoughts into words and sentences and paragraphs, and by then I was so deeply immersed in the process of finishing my book that I was all but unconscious of it….
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