Odd Habits of Famous Writers

Odd Habits of Famous Writers

We can all agree that writers who create unfading classics are extraordinary people. However, they are still people, who have their own peculiarities, strains, superstitions and habits. Their habits may differ a bit, though, from the habits of other people. Let’s take a look at some odd habits of famous writers. Keep in mind, that some of these habits may reach us with quite exaggerated or even anecdotic implication, which doesn’t make them less curious.

Stephen King

Stephen King HabitsStephen King writes 10 pages per day with no lunch breaks. Even weekends and holidays are not the exception for him. This useful habit helped the writer get the title of the King of Horror and made him one of the most productive authors.

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway HabitsErnest Hemingway wrote 500 words per day. He woke up early in the morning to work in peace and quiet and to accomplish his mission before the heat waves stroked. No matter that Hemingway was known for liking to drink, he never let himself work on a book being not sober.

George Sand

George Sand HabitsGeorge Sand wrote every day strictly till 11 pm. Even if she finished her novel at 10.30, she started writing a new one and worked for half an hour till it was 11 pm. Actually, many famous authors had the special number of figures, words or pages that they forced themselves to write per day (Jack London – 1000 words, Thomas Wolfe – 1800, William Golding, Arthur Conan Doyle – 3,000, etc.)

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens HabitsGeorge Sand wrote every day strictly till 11 pm. Even if she finished her novel at 10.30, she started writing a new one and worked for half an hour till it was 11 pm. Actually, many famous authors had the special number of figures, words or pages that they forced themselves to write per day (Jack London – 1000 words, Thomas Wolfe – 1800, William Golding, Arthur Conan Doyle – 3,000, etc.)

 Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov HabitsThe author of “Lolita” liked to write upright and wrote his thoughts down on small cards. This system allowed him to write down some scenes with no chronological chain and then rewrite them into a logical novel. For example, he used about 2000 cards for writing his novel “Despair”. Vladimir Nabokov also liked to write in his car parked in some quiet place.

 Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf HabitsBritish writer Virginia Woolf said that every woman who wants to write has to have her own means and her own room. One of her creative peculiarities was using different colors while writing. She used green, blue, yellow ink; her favorite one was purple. Besides that, she liked to write upright and used an easel instead of a table.

Truman Capote

Truman Capote HabitsThe author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, on the other hand, claimed to be a “horizontal writer” because he wrote his works lying in bed or sofa with a cigarette or a cup of coffee. Then coffee turned into tea, tea turned into sherry, sherry – into martini and so on till the end of the day. All his works Capote wrote in pencil. Even when the typewriter was invented, he still wrote his books in the same manner. He was also quite superstitious. He never started or finished his work on Friday and he never dealt with the number 13.

 Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller HabitsFriedrich Schiller could write only if there were rotten apples on a table. Otherwise his muse didn’t visit him. He deliberately left some apples in his desk and waited for them to rot and to give off a smell that somehow inspired the writer.

 Emile Zola

Emile Zola HabitsWhen the famous French author had a strong urge to write a new novel, he simply tied himself to a chair and did his job.

 Edgar Alan Poe

Edgar Alan Poe HabitsEdgar Alan Poe could sit at his table for hours even not tying himself up. He just sat there and stared at the blank piece of paper. Almost the same procedure was peculiar to Maeterlinck. Every morning he spent three hours at his desk even if he didn’t have any thoughts.

 James Joyce

James Joyce HabitsJames Joyce played a big role in the literary world of the previous century. And while more productive writers had a certain number of words and pages they wrote per day, Joyce was proud of every written sentence. There was a story when one of Joyce’s friends met him on the street and asked him how productive his day was. Joyce answered “very”. When his friend asked how much he wrote, Joyce said “three sentences”. Another peculiarity of “Ulysses” author is that he liked writing on his stomach using strictly blue pencils.

Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë HabitsCharlotte Brontë had a very useful habit, although it is a bit hard to believe in it. To take her mind off writing she went to peal some potatoes.

 Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas HabitsAlexandre Dumas had a special need – he wrote only on certain square pieces of blue paper. He immediately stopped writing if he was out of such paper. His son liked to eat at least five times to wake his inspiration.

Alyce Fabel Written by Alyce Fabel
Alyce is an inspired blogger, private tutor and educational consultant who is passionate about everything related to writing. Now she has found herself as a private consultant/educator, providing seminars and workshops to teachers of English. The focus of her presentations is how to motivate students to enjoy writing and to help them in becoming creative and proficient writers both for their pleasure and coursework assignments. She loves to share her experience in these fields. Stay tuned to get more actionable tips about writing!

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