Gene Weingarten on quitting pre-med and deadlines
- Mother Jones: According to—uh—Wikipedia, you majored in psychology, but spent most of your time at the school paper. What were you writing then, and at what point did you know you wanted to do this for a living?
- Gene Weingarten: I entered NYU intent on being a doctor, a career choice that got derailed for reasons pragmatic, emotional, and philosophical. Pragmatic: I flunked chemistry, probably the easiest course in the pre-med syllabus. Emotional: I walked into the college newspaper and discovered the elation delivered by a byline. Philosophical: I understood that with the combination of a doctor's license and my attraction to opiates, I'd likely be dead at 30. I wound up quitting college with three credits to go, to hook up with a teenage Puerto Rican street gang. It led to this [http://nymag.com/news/features/crime/48271/]. I never went back to college.
- MJ: To parrot the predictable-journalist question you asked Garry Trudeau: Where do you come up with your ideas? Do you have a process?
- GW: Like all writers, my greatest inspiration, my ultimate muse, is a deadline.