Seth shares a great story about an author called Robert Caro in “The Practice.” Caro had quit his job as a reporter and begun writing his first major biography – “The Power Broker.”
He took a modest advance and moved his family to a tiny apartment. But, years later, the end didn’t seem in sight. In 1975, he wrote a poignant story for The New York Times describing his despair.
Then, he was given a key to a back room at the New York Public Library. Only eleven writers had keys, and each was given a desk to write.
One day, he looked up and found James Flexner – one of his idols – ask a question he’d come to dread – “How long have you been working on it?”
“Oh, that’s not so long. I’ve been working on my Washington for nine years.”
The next day, another of his idols said quietly – “Eleanor and Franklin took me seven.”
He could have jumped up and kissed them. In a couple of sentences, both men – his idols – had wiped away five years of doubt.
The lesson “Find your cohort. The generous ones.” resonated deeply.