What Is There Behind the Habits of Famous Writers?

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Outstanding writers were always of great interest, especially their rituals and habits. Some of them were quite extraordinary. Famous authors evoke admiration in their fans, so they try to look like them by copying behavior and changing their appearance with the help of plastic surgery. Let’s take a look at the motivation behind these actions. It can be:

  • Irrational – they do it for fun not having particular aim in mind;

  • Rational – they also want to be famous.

For instance, Jack London used to rewrite Rudyard Kipling’s books as he was his biggest fan.

Do the writers’ habits have any influence on their work? This question is important as it helps to make possible predictions for the future. But it’s not easy to find the cause. It’s a well-known fact that human brain processes images faster than text, 60,000 times faster if to be exact.

Although the writers lived in different times and countries, had different mentality, they shared similar habits. Let’s take a look at them and try to find rational explanation how that happens.

“What is the best time for writing?” is a question that has no right answer and evokes a lot of discussions. Let’s analyze it. Tom Wolfe preferred to write at night, as well as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, although the former was most inspired at that time, while the latter could write only at night as he was attending an engineering school. The reasons were different, but it resulted in great writing. These are some benefits of night-time writing:

  • The peak of creativity comes at night;

  • It’s quieter at night, so you stay focused all the time;

  • Great ideas come when you’re tired due to Alice Flaherty’s model of creative brain activity;

  • There’s a minimum chance of being interrupted.

Morning seems to be the least productive time of the day for writing, but there’s a great number of writers who prove it wrong. Katherine Anne Porter was writing in the morning, as it was perfectly silent and she could stay focused. Toni Morrison could write in the early morning when her children were asleep. Here is a list of benefits of morning writing:

  • Brain productivity is stimulated by the morning light;

  • When you wake up, your brain has a peak of its activity;

  • You have positive thoughts in the morning that leads to better results.

Habits mentioned above can benefit your writing:

  • Drink tea when writing, it helps to stay focused and increases your creativity with theanine;

  • Coffee helps think more positively with a help of serotonine and stimulates our memory with caffeine;

  • Pets (both cats and dogs) reduce the level of stress, anxiety and depression;

  • Looking for new ideas? Just lie on the sofa and give way to your imagination;

  • Traveling develops imagination;

  • Long-distance walks increase brain volume.

When You Have Low Writing Skills

Learning how to write academic papers is a great way to master your writing skills. Everyone has experienced writing A+ essays that were flawless in terms of grammar, style and format.

But have you ever thought: for whom do you write these essays?

You know the answer: teachers.

We have an academic system that implements some bad habits into students. Academic papers of the right structure can be great for your school, but have you seen a writer who uses essay vocabulary to write stories?

Academic writing and fiction writing are two different things for a vast number of people. When writing academic papers students:

  • try to maintain academic sound;

  • stay objective and unemotional;

  • use other sources to underpin arguments, rather than personal opinion;

  • write long paragraphs.

Their goal is to impress scholars with academic type of writing. This can ruin your dreams of becoming bestselling authors worldwide.

Writers have different habits, but no writer has learned how to write from academic manuals and courses.

Being a student means to learn how to write in academic style; being a writer means to reject all the academic rules and have other writing habits, no matter how strange they may be.

Odd Writers’ Habits

You’ll be surprised to hear about some extraordinary and odd habits of some famous authors, but they can be explained in a logical way:

  1. Victor Hugo used to write naked. This might sound strange, but he locked his clothes not to go outside. This is how he finished his writing on time.

  2. Friedrich Schiller: used to write at night not to be interrupted and with a box of rotten apples under his table;

  3. William Faulkner had a habit to put shoes on his hands and type with toes;

  4. Edith Sitwell had a little ritual every morning: he had to lay in an open coffin for some minutes before writing. Another habit was to keep notebooks all over the house, so every time he had a new idea he could write it down.

  5. Carson McCullers wrote only when wearing a lucky sweater made of rabbit feet.

Knowing Difference between Advantages and Fables

We can see that writers had some habits that somehow helped them to become successful and famous. They relied on solely on their intuition, developing habits based on the attitude towards writing.

Stories about some writers like about Hunter Thompson, who asked to shoot his remains after his death into the sky, are great to be told and discussed with friends at the bar. It’s a pity to say, but it can be the only use of them as some habits were meant to bring attention and that’s it.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb once told that it’s wrong to judge success by who is a winner. You cannot use habits like sniffing rotten tomatoes or write blindfolded unless you really don’t see advantages of these rituals.

What Is Learned?

The debate around the most useful writing habits is endless. And information may seem to be useless if it doesn’t have a practical implementation. If you want to be a writer, check out some pieces of advice:

  1. Check when you have the highest productivity in the morning or at night;

  2. Make a schedule according to your preferences;

  3. The surrounding influences your creativity;

  4. Don’t ask anyone to judge your work;

  5. If your habits give results, there’s no need in their rational explanation.

It can take some time before you succeed, but important thing here is to find your own way to success.

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