Some Weird Writing Habits of Famous Authors

Ivy Fernando, the contributor, is an alumna of Santo Rosario Academy, Alupay Rosario, Batangas. (You, too, can have your articles/lectures/blogs published here.)

PEOPLE WRITE FOR VARIOUS REASONS. An author may give you facts or information about a certain subject. Some authors write different stories which are based on their experience or their wide imagination. Some write  stories to entertain. Others write to persuade or  try to get readers to do something.
          Perhaps many of us have experienced to write essays, poems, short stories and drama scripts, especially during our school days, as requirements in our English or Literature classes. Sometimes, we find it difficult to compose one. But for seasoned writers, it has been part of their daily lives.
          Some writers started writing at their very young age. Dorothy Straight, for instance, was only 4 when she wrote How the World Began for her grandmother.
          Authors have their own ways tof writing and making their works different from others'. Some of the famous authors are Dan Brown, William Wordsworth, Vladimir Nabokov, Victor Hugo and many more. Many of us are familiar with some of their works because in one way or another they had become part of our readings in school subjects or otherwise. But one thing I find more interesting about these famous authors, other than their works, is their unique and funny writing habits.
          Here are some of the famous authors/writers with their unique and entertaining routines performed to make good literary pieces.

Dan Brown, author of the “Da Vinci Code”, keeps an hourglass on his desk and, on the hour, puts aside his manuscript to perform push-ups, sit-ups, and stretches.

William Wordsworth
would recite his poetry to his dog as he walked. If his dog barked or was upset by the sound of the words, Wordsworth would rewrite the poem.

H. G. Wells always carried two fountain pens. “The big one is for the long words, the little one for the short ones.”

William Butler Yeats
constantly rewrote his poetry, searching for the perfect word or phrase. When he died, he was still revising poems he had written in his youth.

S.P. Somtow, a Science fiction writer, once remarked that he only wrote when he had bills that he couldn’t pay.

Ben Franklin preferred to write while in a bathtub. Some believe he imported the first bathtub into the United States.

Victor Hugo, known for numerous works including Les Miserables and Notre Dame du Paris, preferred to write in the nude.

Anthony Trollope rose every day at 5:30 and wrote for 2 ½ hours before going to work. He averaged 1000 words per hour.

Vladimir Nabokov, the author of such great novels as Lolita, Pale Fire and Ada did his writing standing up, and all on index cards. This allowed him to write scenes non-sequentially, as he could re-arrange the cards as he wished. His novel Ada took up more than 2,000 cards.

Stephen King wrote 10 pages a day without fail, even on holidays. King is one of the most prolific writers of our time.

Ernest Hemingway
wrote 500 words a day and woke early to write to avoid the heat and to write in peace and quiet.

Truman Capote claimed to be a “completely horizontal author”. He said he had to write lying down, in bed or on a couch, with a cigarette and coffee.

Blanche D’Alpuget, when writing on the computer, printed a first draft and then deleted the original file.  She then typed the entire book again from the printouts.

Henry L. Mencken, Edgar Allan Poe, May Sarton and Maxime Kumin liked to do their writing in attic rooms.
Dan Lujen Senerio, writer and editor of interdisciplinary literatures and blogs, could only begin to write when hurt or offended by questions or comments he received from his readers or students.

          So interesting, right? We can say that some writers are weird persons. But definitely, we don’t need to be weird to become famous. We have our own skills and own ways to become famous and expert in our respective career. These aurhors, nonetheless, could serve as our inspiration or model.

          If you have passion in writing and you want to become famous someday like your favorite author/s, here are 10 TIPS IN WRITING which could help you:

1. Write in a place where you feel comfortable.

2. Begin with a mind map. List down all your ideas.

3. Set attainable writing goals - such as 150 words or 2-3 paragraphs a day; it depends on your capacity and ability.

4. Write every day.
5. Follow a writing model. Be inspired with your favorite writer.

6. Put a dictionary besides you to assist you in getting the necessary words for your work.

7. Have a peer review. This will help you to find unnecessary things in your work that you are not aware of, especially with regards to grammar.

8. Don’t be stressed in writing. Give yourself a break. Do not force yourself to write if you find it difficult or you are not in the good mood to write; this will affect your work.

9. Do not stop learning. You can read and search other’s works to gain idea and information on how you can improve your skills. You can also ask advices from experts or professionals.

10. Most important, ENJOY what you are doing.

Dore, Arden. “Book Trivia”. @

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