Comments 9

A Peek into the Writing Habits of Famous Writers


Writers are an odd group of people – indeed, it does take a certain kind of mentality and character to be able to use words to create stories that people would want to read. If you ever find yourself doing strange things just to be able to write, take heart – famous writers have and do go to great lengths to summon the muse:

-Ernest Hemingway wrote from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. He would first write standing up and would sit down and type only when he felt his creativity flowing.

-Because of his intense need to listen to his muse, Rainer Maria Rilke left his wife and baby.

-Before sitting down to write, Thomas Wilder took long walks.

-Willa Carther invited the muse by reading a page from the Bible everyday before writing.

-“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” was written on different hotel stationery.  When he was done writing it, Tennessee Williams sent the one and only copy to his agent by ordinary mail.

-Toni Morrison uses a number two pencil to write on yellow legal pads.

-Agatha Christie worked out her story plots in her bathtub because she found the warm caress of the water conducive to creativity.

-Henry Miller had a strange way of inviting the muse: he would deliberately seek an uncomfortable position and write.

-William Faulkner said he wrote only when it was raining.

-Julia Cameron begins her day by writing morning pages.

-During his career, Isaac Asimov was able to produce 500 books. He said he was able to achieve this because of the way his office was set up: He had tables around the perimeter, each with one or several typewriters on it. Asimov worked his way around the typewriters, each of which were used for a different project.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile









  1. Great post, Rosanne, to which let me contribute the following:

    Edgar Wallace typically completed his novels in 72 hours of almost uninterrupted dictation to a recorder, during which time he would go through cartons of cigarettes and gallons of tea. A team of secretaries were kept busy during daylight hours typing it all up.

    The completed manuscripts—barely, if at all, edited—were then sent off to his publisher who knew better than to attempt to tamper with (edit) the work in any obvious way.


    • Oh my Cecil, imagine if we could be like Edgar Wallace and complete a novel in 72 hours! Thanks for contributing this info about this very prolific writer.


      • Yes, Edgar Wallace was prolific alright, but nothing compared to Barbara Cartland who authored (dictated) more than 700 novels which, reportedly, sold more than a billion copies.

        Glad you enjoyed the December 10 post, and sorry about the turned off comment option; I just wanted a complete break from blogging during the festive season.

        Now I’m back on the go, and working on a post about the dangerous consequences that can derive from turning to spirit mediums for answers about the afterlife.


  2. Quill & Lantern says

    A fascinating insight … now I’m wondering what I do that is extremely odd !


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