Episode 52—How to Write an 80,000-word Book in 42 Days with NYT Bestselling Author Joe Drape

By Brendan O’Meara

Tweetables from Joe Drape:

“We were seeing greatness. We were part of history.”

“I may not write well, but I write fast. I’m OK with that.”

“You have to figure out who you are and what works for you.”

“It’s all driven by reporting. You gotta know your stuff.”

“Sometimes 1,500 words goes to 3,000 or 6,000. Sometimes 1,500 becomes 300 and you shut your computer and go to a movie.”

“You gotta be able to eat rejection morning, noon, and night. All they can say is no.”

“This business is all about listening.”

I’m not sure where to begin if I’m being perfectly honest. Joe Drape (@joedrape on Twitter) is a New York Times sports writer and the New York Times bestselling author of Our Boys and American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner’s Legendary Rise.

He wrote the 80,000-word manuscript in six weeks without a book leave. 

How are you feeling about your productivity?

“When you say, ‘Ok, I’ve got six weeks to write 80,000 words,’ it freaks you out,” says Joe. “Sometimes 1,500 words goes to 3,000 or 6,000. Sometimes 1,500 becomes 300 and you shut your computer and go to a movie.”

I love it, baby.

Joe is the author of these six books:

American Pharoah
Black Maestro
Our Boys
The Race for the Triple Crown
In the Hornets Nest
To the Swift

In this episode he talks about how to write a book under tight deadline pressure, the power of reporting, and the power of listening. 

Thanks for listening! And if you have a moment, please leave a review on iTunes. Nine (and counting) five-star reviews! Thanks so much! 

The Souvenir Bet: What Every Horse Racing Fan Needs to do Now!

Written by Brendan O’Meara

Here’s a quick hit. Here’s what every horse racing fan needs to do: place a $2 bet on California Chrome to win the Belmont Stakes.

It’s a simple, but necessary thing to do. Frame it if it happens.

Also, here’s a pic of a pic from Belmont Park:

Will California Chrome Win the Triple Crown? Here’s How.

Written by Brendan O’Meara


California Chrome will win the the Triple Crown. I don’t care much for curses, jinxes, or knocking on wood. He’s the best horse in the field and he’s been training hella-good. For those who don’t know, I cover a lot of horse racing. I have a weakness for dying sports.

Why will Chrome win? He’s got the perfect running style. He wants a single target to run at (but may be the lone speed). He has a nice, easy cruising speed and push-button acceleration. On top of that he’s the most talented horse of his generation at this time.


California Chrome has been brilliantly handled by Art Sherman, Chrome’s trainer, and Victor Espinoza, Chrome’s jockey. I’m not going to belabor any major points. If you want to get the real skinny, go click on that Bleacher Report link.

I’m driving down to Belmont Park Saturday, leaving at 4 AM and will be tweeting and Instagram-ing and having a good ol’ time hoping to see history. It’ll be a long day filled with massive amounts of caffeine. Good times.