Weird Writing Superstitions!

By on July 19, 2017
Weird Writing Superstitions! - Writer's

Writers are strange creatures, and just as sportsmen might have a cap or a medal they have to wear before a big game, or those going into an exam might take a trinket or ornament as a good luck charm, or have to perform a certain elaborate ritual before they begin, writers also have their weird and wonderful ways!

We all know that while hard work, perseverance and always striving to improve will help a writer give themselves the best chance of success, but we also know that there is a good bit of luck that’s involved in the process. Being in the right place at the right time, having your proposal read when an editor just happens to be in a particular mood, and making sure your creativity never runs out - you never know when the fates will come together and things will work out for or against you!

That’s why many writers don’t leave it up to pure chance to make sure they aren’t hit with a bout of bad luck, and many have adopted some, erm, let’s call them eccentric, rituals and beliefs to keep bad luck at bay and make sure they never get struck down with writer’s block.

Let’s take a look at some writing superstitions from famous authors…

Alexander Dumas who wrote The Three Musketeers liked to colour code his work. Poetry was written on yellow paper, articles on pink, and fiction on blue.

John Steinback wrote all of his novels in pencil and made sure he had twelve freshly sharpened pencils ready to go in his drawer before he started a writing session.

Edith Sitwell, a famous British poet used to lie in a coffin before starting the working day. She claimed it helped ‘clear her head!’

Truman Capote would never begin a new piece of writing nor would he finish a current piece of writing on a Friday. He also did all of his writing lying down.

Isabelle Allende would only begin a new piece of work on January 8th as that’s when she began her first successful novel, The House of Spirits.

And, perhaps weirdest of all…

Friedrich Schiller apparently couldn’t get any writing done unless he could smell rotten apples and so kept some in his desk drawer at all times while writing!

Other common writer superstitions are never having thirteen pages in a chapter, never giving your book a title until it’s finished, having a favourite writing tool or implement that you simply cannot live without, wearing a certain outfit to write in, and never calling characters any of your friends names in case something bad should happen to them!

Do you have any weird and wonderful writing superstitions or rituals? Let us know!

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

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

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