20 Weird and Wonderful Habits of Famous Writers

    Have you ever considered what it takes to write a book that everyone will later call a masterpiece?

    And could any of the authors of such books ever imagine such a response to their work?

    There are so many components that go into a writer’s success that anyone would have a hard time trying to name them all.

    Some authors make it to the top thanks to pure talent and natural genius that allows them to create incredibly engaging stories, immersive fictional worlds, and strong characters.

    Other writers may rely on hard work alone, writing one work after another, gradually mastering the art of writing, honing their skills, and getting closer to perfection with each written page.

    There’s certainly also a place for sheer luck and coincidence, when the author expects nothing in particular from their work, but it suddenly turns out to be a hit.

    Once authors encounter success, they are very likely to try and do it again. Which often leads them to develop certain rituals that they think may help them to write better.

    These could be normal daily routines or something the writer does specifically before or during writing. It’s no wonder that such rituals can turn into habits over time. And many of these habits have been strange ones.

    Sure, some famous writing habits were caused by the inability of the author to write in a different way. Like it was with James Joyce, for instance. He had to use large pencils and lay on his stomach dressed in a white coat while writing—a habit he established due to his poor eyesight. He could see what he was writing with large pencils, and the white coat reflected light better.

    Do you want to find out about more writers with weird habits?

    Check out the infographic below! It includes 20 writers with curious quirks, along with some quick facts to explain how an author’s habit influenced the creation of a particular work.

    habits of famous writers - infographic

    About the author

      Jack Milgram

      Jack Milgram is a freelance writer and traveler. you can connect with him on twitter , facebook and at Custom Writing.

    • Anna says:

      Say what you will about the harshness they put themselves through, you have to admire their dedication to their art.

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    • Laszlo A. Voros says:

      As a writer myself I have a quirk or two.
      I brought a small bank in the shape of a skull at a Salem Mass. Witch Hunting Museum in 1975. And after realizing that getting money out of it was breaking it I stopped using it. My brother fooling around threw me on top of it and broke it. But then managed to glue it back together. True evil never dies. So I painted it up for Halloween and stick him. It has white, red, black eyes in dark black sockets. Blood in it’s cheek hollows, a stream of blood flowing out of his right eye, and a stream coming out of the left corner of his mouth. He has an inverted black cross on his forehead, and wears a black hood. I call him Skulliver and have him sitting on my desk next to a huge haunted house on his left and a graveyard on his right. Complete with a black cat on a tombstone.
      And white mist curling around the yard. I call him my dark muse and say “Talk to me Skulliver talk to me.” He fills my mind with ideas when I write horror stories. Also, since I occasionally enjoy a fine cigar but am not allowed to smoke in the house. I roll up a small bit of copy paper into a cigarette form. It is actually MGM movie prop quality, white with an ash end. It even fooled my sister once. I have it in a holder and smoke it when I think. Yes, I fake smoke. No expensive E-cig, no choking smoke. and no CANCER. This one woman writer in Writers Digest chews on those little red plastic coffee stirrers. I fake smoke. It helps me think.

      • Laszlo A. Voros says:

        Misprint: I place Skulliver in a widow on Halloween.
        Also since the Internet though great for Information gathering can be too distracting.I bought a typewriter. Just you the classic typing sound not the ticka ticka of a laptop keyboard and the stack of papers next to your machine.
        You can forget Word Count, you can actually see your “novel gaining weight” as novelists call it. You actually feel like you are turning out a novel. I had that sound even placed on my computer. It sound like a typewriter when I write.


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