34 Writing

Jeff talks about the process and struggles of being a writer.

Todd: OK., Jeff, you're a writer.

Jeff: A little bit.

Todd: OK.

Jeff: Hobby.

Todd: OK. Talk about writing.

Jeff: I write. I think you writers write about what they know. So, and I don't know much so....so it's difficult. Difficult to be a writer. Now, writers write about what they know so I'm writing. I have a manuscript now about travelling, the people, the people I've come in contact with and what I thought about then. In the situation we've been in when we've met, sort of thing. But it's difficult, it's not easy-- It's not an easy thing to do. At first I did sort of thinking, anyone could do it almost if you put the time into it but now I think it's very difficult. You have to be creative and it's a lot harder than I think it seems. To pick up a finished product, a book. A physical book or to take a book from the library, I think it's-- you underestimate the work and the time that has gone into it. It's a long, lot of effort behind it. So..it's fun, I like it but it's very difficult. But it's good.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


I have a manuscript about traveling.

A 'manuscript' is a written document that hasn't yet been printed as a book or article.  Notice the following:

  1. He sent his manuscript to over a hundred publishers before it was accepted.
  2. They sold the original manuscript at an auction last year.

come in contact with

I write about people I've come in contact with.

The people you 'come in contact with' are random people that you meet, talk to or have an interaction with.  Notice the following:

  1. He comes in contact with sick people every day.
  2. Do you ever come in contact with celebrities?

put the time into

I thought anyone could write, if you just put the time into it.

If you 'put time into' something you work on it and put your energy and effort into it.  Notice the following:

  1. If you don't put time into learning you will never improve.
  2. She puts a lot of time into her school projects.

physical book

Think about this whenever you pick up a finished product, a physical book.

A 'physical book' is a printed copy of a manuscript that has been published.  Notice the following:

  1. I could spend hours around physical books.
  2. I have an electronic reader, but I still prefer physical books.


Do not underestimate the time and effort that has gone into it.

To 'underestimate' something is to undervalue or misjudge it.  If you underestimate the time it takes to do something you think it can be finished faster than it really can.  Notice the following:

  1. She always underestimates how long a trip will take.
  2. Be careful not to underestimate her abilities.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
manuscript • in contact • put time into
physical book • underestimates
  1. It looks like you don't really into your homework.
  2. Did you buy the or an electronic copy?
  3. I think he his employees.
  4. He completed the last year.
  5. I come with people in the park everyday.