10 Bizarre Work Habits of Famous Authors

By Jenny Hansen

jenny hansen

Photo credit: Kristin Nador ~ WANA Commons

Awhile back, someone sent me a post called Bizarre Habits of Famous Authors. It details the unusual methods famous authors have used to keep the words flowing.

Holy cowbell, these people make me feel normal!

Below, I’ve shared the ten completely strange habits I found the most interesting:

1. Victor Hugo wrote both Les Misèrables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in the nude so he wouldn’t be tempted to leave his house. He even had his valet hide his clothes.

2. Demosthenes shaved half his head so that he would be too embarrassed to leave home until his writing was finished.

3. Ernest Hemingway stood while he met his 500-word-per-day, self-imposed quota. His writing regimen was to be “done by noon and drunk by three.”

4. Truman Capote, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Winston Churchill, and Marcel Proust all preferred to write while lying in bed.

5. Charles Dickens would go for walks (20 miles or so every day) and try to get lost in order to spark his creativity.

6. William Wordsworth would recite his poetry to his dog while taking strolls. If the dog barked or was upset as he read, he would rewrite the draft.

7. Alexandre Dumas could only write poetry on yellow paper, articles on pink paper, and novels on blue paper.

8. Agatha Christie wrote while taking baths and eating apples.

9. John Steinbeck insisted on writing exclusively in pencil. He used over 300 of them to create The Grapes of Wrath.

10. T.S. Eliot would tint his face green with powder to look like he was dead.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty normal about my kitchen timer, my special candle and my writing mug right now. Yes, I’ve got to have Scrivener to stay organized, but at least I don’t run around naked or tint my face green.

That being said, these authors’ dedication to their work is inspiring, even if most of their methods leave a lot to be desired. What bizarre work habits to you have? Don’t be shy! Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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