Before Tom Wolfe wrote his masterworks, he was an ordinary writer who got plagued with writer’s block now and then. On an Esquire magazine assignment on California’s custom cars, he was convinced—and later admitted to his editor—that he wouldn’t be able to get the story done by himself. Byron Dobell, his editor, who desperately needed something, asked him to just write up his notes in a letter to him. Wolfe just did that. He started the letter with “Dear Byron”, and when he finished it, it ran forty-nine pages. Next morning, he submitted it to his editor, who was expecting much editorial work before publishing it. Instead, he just erased the salutation and ran the piece.