The Fascinating Writing Habits of 31 Famous Authors

Most of us sit down in front of a desk and write. We may have quirks and rituals involving coffee, writing tools, and writing spaces. However, some famous writers had distinct and strange writing habits.

Mark Twain Writing Habits Mark Twain

Writers Who Lay Down (when they wrote)

  1. Calvin
  2. Edith Sitwell (who wrote lying down in an open coffin) 
  3. Marcel Proust
  4. Mark Twain
  5. Robert Louis Stevenson
  6. Truman Capote
  7. Voltaire

Ernest Hemingway Writing Habits Ernest Hemingway

Writers Who Stood (when they wrote)

  1. Ernest Hemingway
  2. Lewis Carroll
  3. Philip Roth (Still standing)
  4. Thomas Wolfe
  5. Virginia Woolf
  6. Vladimir Nabokov
  7. Winston Churchill

Writers Who Wrote in The Bath

  1. Agatha Christie
  2. Benjamin Franklin
  3. D.H. Lawrence
  4. Edmond Rostand
  5. Victor Hugo

HL Mencken Writing Habits H.L. Mencken

Writers Who Smoked Cigars (when they wrote)

  1. Amy Lowell
  2. George Sand
  3. H L Mencken
  4. Mark Twain
  5. Rudyard Kipling

William Wordsworth Writing Habits William Wordsworth Literary Walk

Writers Who Had to Take Long Walks (before they wrote)

  1. Carl Sandburg (20 miles a day)
  2. Charles Dickens (20-30 miles a day)
  3. Henry David Thoreau
  4. Isaac Bashevis Singer
  5. John Clare
  6. Wallace Stevens
  7. William Wordsworth

What are your writing habits?

If you enjoyed this post, you will love Writers of Substance (Abuse) - Famous Writers and their Addictions, 50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected and 17 Authors Being Honest.

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35 responses
Pencils. I sharpen pencils.
I need total silence and darkness
Writers Write upvoted this post.
I go for a walk first and then usually write in the dark with light music playing in the background.
Many people read while utilizing the toilet, but I leave a pad and pen in the bathroom and write during that particular 'personal time'.
I must eat popcorn when I write.
I always smoke a cigar before I begin writing, as I review the previous days work. It helps to get me in the perfect mindset of my characters.
.. slow music in solitude...
I need my bike sometimes... I prefer to be alone, and sometimes I write at night!
I like to write to Pirates of the Carribbean, on headphones of course, and yes, standing. I got into the habit during a NaNoWriMo challenge. The only place I had in the house that worked was a corner of the bedroom with my computer on top of the chest of drawers, and a soft cushion to stand on so I could keep at it for the 2 hours I usually wrote every day.
I listen to different kinds of music depending on where I am in my writing, and when I get stuck I pace. I work best in solitude and in mornings and evenings.
Usually I sit at my desk and type while listening to music that seems to fit the story. But when I get stuck, I write it on paper or sit on my bed with my laptop while listening to ocean waves.
Only routine I have is that I must be alone. If I'm not, earphones sometimes works...
I have to go to a noisy area with a lot of people. Restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops. It becomes white noise and I imagine my characters are talking in the background.
I Swim. In Alphabet soup :)
I put my headphones in and repeatedly listen to a single song until my chapters are finished. I'll listen to the same song for several chapters, even. It sets a mood, helps my flow of words, and allows me to come back days later with the same train of thought.
I tend to write (and make art) while crouching on the floor of my room, with all my books and references and teacups scattered around me. I write in very strange contorted poses.
I prefer to write in seclusion.. Solitude. Where the surroundings are pure and soothing.. Divulging a message of effervescenes and love.
Like T.M. above, I have to be alone in public, and generally indoors. Restaurants and coffee shops, usually. Other than that, eccentricities and preferences: College-ruled paper. Thick bleed pens. I usually take my watch off, as well.
I write best early morning and at night in those hours when I imagine most of the world is sleeping and I am completely alone. I love to write in solitude, if not, then headphones listening to James Brown does the trick.
Loud, blaring music.
I write on a piece of paper underneath a book called "Burning in Water DRWONIING IN FLAME".
Hm:-P. I set up my laptop, notebooks, pen, drink and or snacks, get comfy then place my laptop on my lap... turn on my music (or movie if in living room) and then I..... troll FB while telling everyone I'm writing... like.. right now! :-P
Um: It's "writers who LIE down." Transitive. Writers who write should write well....:-)
No, it's correct, Robin. It's the past tense of lie.
... fountain pen, chair and Jim Beam ...
I have to have my desk positioned so my back is to the wall.
I am researching material for my first novel. I use 3 hours per day.
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