Talking Points Memo: How was it to write [the book] while still having a day job?
Nate Silver: It’s very challenging, because they require different parts of your brain. The blogging part of your brain has to be very caffeinated and reactive and news-driven and conscientious of needing to get information out reasonably quickly. Whereas a book, you really need some space where you shut out distractions and are able to do some reflection and deeper thinking. You need to be well-rested, which I’m terrible at most of the time. On the one hand you’re trying to take these different subjects, and you might call them verticals — politics and poker and global warming and everything else — on the other hand, you’re trying to weave themes throughout the book so it’s not just a series of essays or an anthology that drives to a coherent point. That requires a lot of energy. On top of that you have to use narrative and structure and dramatic interpretation of things, and you also have to be accurate to a series of facts you’re presenting, some of which are new to you. It’s a lot to do, I think, to write a quote-unquote “real book” when you’re making an effort to step back and make a real argument and have some nuance and complexity in it. This last crunch in particular, from about February or March onward, has been just the busiest period of my life, professionally. I’m looking forward to sitting on a beach somewhere in December.
Talking Points Memo interviews Nate Silver about Obama, Stats, and His New Book