Weird Habits Of Famous Writers

By on July 8, 2016

Every writer has little habits or rituals that they like to stick to, whether it’s a good luck thing, a specific morning routine, or an exercise that they do to get them into a creative mindset and ready to face the day.

Perhaps you don’t want to share your strange writing habits, or even feel a little embarrassed by them. Well the good news is you are not alone! Even the most famous writers have these little nuances to help them get motivated and inspired to write.

Take a look at some of the crazy routines these celebrated writers used to get them into the right mindset to write:

Standing up

From Charles Dickens to Virginia Woolf, many famous writers have advocated standing up to help them feel inspired, and even had special standing desks to allow them to work on their feet!

Lying down

Mark Twain used to write in bed, and George Orwell, Woody Allen and Marcel Proust also swore by lying horizontally to get the creative juices flowing. Truman Capote even went as far as to say that he couldn’t think or produce any writing unless lying down!

Hanging upside down

An even stranger writing position to try is hanging upside down, but famous author Dan Brown claims it is excellent at getting rid of writers block, saying it helps him to relax and think freely. Just don’t do it for too long! Mr Brown would also stop every hour to do some light exercise and stretches to loosen up and reinvigorate himself before getting back to work.

Using index cards

Vladimir Nabokov used to draft his entire novel on index cards which he could then reorder as he saw fit. He also kept a stash of notecards under his pillow so if he woke up suddenly inspired by an idea he could write it down immediately to ensure he didn’t forget it.

Doing it naked

Victor Hugo liked to write in the nude. A little strange maybe and certainly one to try in the privacy of your own home! However, Victor's reasons weren’t to do with feeling ‘natural’ or ‘free.’ He actually asked his valet to remove all his clothes from the house so he couldn’t go outside to make sure he met the deadline for his novel, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ Quite extreme but it seemed to work for him!

Facing the wall

All writers know how easy it can be to get distracted. Authors such as Francine Prose tried to minimise this by giving themselves the dullest view possible. Facing away from the windows and sitting opposite a blank wall means there will be less to look at which could make your mind wander, therefore you will be able to concentrate on your writing for longer!

Acting it out

Aaron Sorkin is known for acting out the dialogue in his novels to make sure it flows. He did, however, once break his nose doing just that - so if you are acting out a big fight scene just try not to get carried away!

These weird writing habits from famous authors have all helped them to write some truly wonderful fiction, so why not give them a go, or tell us yours!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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