The eccentric writing habits of famous writers make me feel a bit more accepting of my own writing quirks. Let’s face it, we all have peculiarities inherent in our respective creative processes. Back when I taught a creative writing class, one of the introductory activities we would do as a class was to create a collaborative diagram of the writing process. Needless to say, the process diagram was a glorious hot mess. At any given moment while I type at my laptop, I am reassured when I look down and see a Bic MatiC grip 0.7 mm #2 mechanical pencil, a Pentel Clic Eraser, and a Pentel R.S.V.P. medium-point black ink pen. Without those three writing tools on my desk, it’s safe to say I cannot function.
The infographic below from Global English Editing reveals that John Cheever like to write in his underwear, while Agatha Christie dreamed up murderous plots while eating apples in a bathtub, and Vladimir Nabokov wrote on index cards to allow easy rearranging of paragraphs. If you’re struggling a bit with the flow of a story or essay, you can do the same thing by printing a draft and cutting it apart in a revision activity called divorcing the draft. Indeed, there are numerous ways to get the writing done! Soak up some of the eccentric writing habits of famous writers listed below. I hope it will inspire you to share some of your own strange habits.
Go figure that Truman Capote couldn’t write with an ashtray with more than three butts in it. I guess I’m flexible, and set my limit at four stinky butts. How can you not admire the poor-sighted efforts of James Joyce? As for me, I write best in near silence and also when there are no dirty dishes in the sink.
What eccentric writing habits of famous writers could you add to this list? What quirky writing habits of your own do you care to share?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2017.