Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Day Tripping: Augusten Burroughs

The world according to the author of "Lust and Wonder."

Photos by Yana Paskova

8:03 AM: Burroughs wakes later than his husband (and agent), Christopher Schelling, who rises at 6:30 to feed and run their four dogs.

9:01 AM-11:10 AM: He tends to emails, research, and the business of life.

12:00 PM: He lets the dogs out for a run on the property.

11:07 PM-3:00 AM: He writes in bed. At the moment, he has three fiction projects and two memoirs going. If he’s on a deadline, he works around the clock for two weeks straight. “It’s a marathon.”

WHENEVER: If he weren’t a writer, he’d be a gemologist. He collects, refurbishes, resells, designs, and makes jewelry: “I have no business handling 1,525° metal and chrysoberyl cat’s eye gems, but I do it anyway. When I began, I made one hideous disaster of a ring after another. Until ring number 301, which was suddenly, inexplicably cool.

WHEREVER: Two laptops, a tablet, and phones are stationed throughout the house. “The room I work in is mood dependent.” For a distraction, he might work upstairs, where he stores his jewels, or in a room showcasing one of his delightfully ugly paintings, like “my hateful little twins.”

About Christopher
“When I met him, I thought: You’ll either be my boyfriend or my agent.”(Augusten got both.)

Why he left the city
“I live inside my head anyway.”

When to move on
“If you spend 20 years chasing something, is it admirable to keep trying? Or did you pass admirable several miles back, and it’s getting closer to straitjacket time?”

“When your psychiatrist forgets to look at the clock and is hanging on your every word, that’s when you know: Out of all his patients, you are the sickest.”

“It’s the satin-lined casket of creativity and originality. If you’re a perfectionist, at least stop announcing you’re one, and try to get over it yourself, alone in your home with the lights off.”

Being yourself
“When you try to do or be something, you can’t do it or be it: You spend an entire job interview trying not to come across like a box of hair, and you come across like a box of hair.”

Additional sources: Lust and Wonder and This Is How