Tag Archives: habit

Despite their strange working habits, these authors became successful


Writers can have strange habits when they work. Perhaps it is because they often work alone in a room dedicated for writing, or because they really are weird. Who cares, if the results are as amazing as books by Dan Brown, Kafka, or Woolf. Here are the strangest habits (that we know about) of successful authors.
writing during night, cartoon character
I bet that the vast majority of writers are sitting by a desk, tapping a keyboard, and sipping coffee or tea. I can’t remember hearing of any odd habits from colleagues or writing groups, but of course it is possible that someone likes to write naked and another one eats carrots with his or her pet rabbit when working.

Let’s stop guessing and view an infographic produced by Custom Writing about the strangest working habits a number of famous writers have admitted they have.

strange habits of authors infographic by Custom Writing
I wonder how and why the authors have admitted their strange ways. Well, some of Franz Kafka’s stories are pretty weird, but Agatha Christie? Anyway, the authors mentioned in the infographic are:

Jane Austen, Honoré de Balzac, Dan Brown, Anthony Burgess, Truman Capote, Lewis Carroll, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexandre Dumas, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor, Edgar Allan Poe, Friedrich Schiller, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf.

My favorites from these oddities are Dan Brown who claims his cure for a lack of inspiration is to hang head down (probably a tongue-in-cheek tip). Virginia Woolf wrote 3.5 hours standing which many writers today are doing as well to avoid painful neck and back problems.

Five tips to get started with that book you always wanted to write


Everyone who has ever written a book, or even tried to write one, knows how much hard work it is. Sure, writing requires creativity, talent, and ability to play with words and grammar, but perhaps perseverance is the most important element in a writer’s toolbox.
 thinking and watching laptop computer screen
Especially, writers who are planning or writing their first book may regard the task too big to handle. That’s right, it is a huge task. That’s why it is important to prepare for it well by learning what kind of working method is the best for each personality, making sure that all the writing and research tools are in place, and learning to focus on the work even though distractions are constantly tempting online.

Bec Evans and Chris Smith have developed methods that help aspiring writers to establish habits that promote writing. They regard writing a book such a demanding work that individuals who are seriously pursuing it, should develop habits that support it. They have listed five tips that help you to build the motivation to write :

1. Scale down your goal.

A book (it doesn’t matter if it is a non-fiction or fiction book) must be planned before you can begin writing. This way, you know you goal and you have divided the big task into small pieces. It is easier to start working on a chapter that is about the same length as a long article than to start working on a 300-page book.

2. Slowly crank up the time.

In the beginning, it maybe difficult to sit down and type for eight hours or even two hours a day. Once you get started and words begin to flow, time goes quickly. Start small, and slowly extend the time spent by a keyboard.

3. Stretch yourself.

In the beginning of the project, goals should be achievable, but you should enhance your goals as the work progresses. From personal experience, I can add that even though I have never set an explicit goal, like one or two pages a day for myself, there are days when it feels that nothing was achieved after eight hours of hard work. Then, the next day, I realize that I have suddenly completed 10 pages. The things is that those days that felt like nothing was achieved were groundwork for those 10 pages that magically were completed in one day.

4. Track, monitor and adjust.

Tracking and monitoring helps you learn how you really work. Adjust your ways in order develop habits that support your writing.

5. Use other people.

Most writers don’t like to talk about the book they are working on. I completely understand this: plans may change, another project may take priority over the current one, or even the intended content of the book may change. Yet, Evans and Smith suggest that it is important tell other people about your goal and update them on your progress. Peer-pressure and accountability can do wonders for writers.

My tip is to use Table of Contents as the key planning tool for a nonfiction book. For a fiction book, many writers have character cards and maps that show how the story flows.
Smiling woman holding books

Authors Don’t Have to Sit down to Write Fabulously


Sitting still at a keyboard and typing away for hours and hours a day is necessary from time to time, but if a writer works this way for long periods back ache, sore shoulders and stiff neck may become problems. This is exactly why some authors occasionally try and write standing up. I have tried it myself, and it is not as crazy as you might imagine.

Ernest Hemingway used to write standing up every now and then. He is not only writer who has discovered alternative ways to write – other than sitting down in a study at a keyboard. How about writing naked as J.D. Salinger did? Here is an infographic Unusual Work Habits of Great Writers by Ninja Essays.
writing habits of famous writers, infographic. Essay Ninjas
Infographic from Ninja Essays.