While growing up, parents often stopped us from forming weird writing habits. It takes years of practice to form a particular style of writing. We were asked to maintain a proper balance while we write, in terms of spacing, following the margin and writing within the line, holding the pen in a proper manner and so on.
Inspiration can come in several different forms. Artists of different eras have gotten inspiration from weirdly different things, so also have people embraced habits that have helped them soak in maximum inspiration in their unusual ways.
For some renowned authors and novelists, the usual way of writing never really worked. It was only when they adopted their unusual ways of writing that they could give the best of their capacity. These writing styles have been a crucial part of their famous works because had it not been written in these odd ways, they wouldn’t have been among the remarkable authors of their time.
Here are some of the celebrities and their weird styles of writing:
- Writing upright
There are famous standing desk users with the habit of standing and writing. It has been a habit of famous writers like Philip Roth, August Wilson, Virginia Woolf; Ernest Hemingway, perhaps being the best known standing writer.
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The reasons were different; for some standing was like a way to give complete attention, for some others it was because standing has several health benefits. For Lewis Carroll, the author of the famous book Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, it was stiffness due to various health issues that he went through but his commitment to writing was enough for him to adopt the standing posture to write.
- Writing while facing the wall
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The author of Blue Angels, Francine Prose was among the famous writers to use this style of writing. When writing in uncanny places, she chose to sit in front of a window facing a high wall of bricks, which in fact made it easier for her to concentrate because of the dull view. The motive was limiting distractions and sitting down to write for extended hours.
- Going generous with coffee and alcohol
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Caffeine can be addictive but for French novelist Honoré de Balzac, the way he got inspiration for his writing was consuming 50 cups of coffee in a day! While writing his famous La Comedie Humaine, he is said to have hardly taken a snooze.
Voltaire is next after de Balzac. He drank around 40 cups of coffee daily.
William Faulkner was a heavy whiskey drinker. He would drink during the nights and next morning he would be seen completely absorbed into his writing work. This was a daily routine for him.
- Using only Pencil
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John Steinbeck preferred writing only with pencil. He would precisely keep twelve sharpened pencils on his table. The conventional hexagon shape of the pencil caused his fingers to grow hard skin which apparently caused difficulty while writing. To reduce the difficulty, his editors had to send him evenly shaped pencils.
- Writing while lying down
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For some, the creativity would set in only when they are lying down. Some of the writers who have admitted having this habit were Mark Twain, Woody Allen, Marcel Proust, George Orwell, Edith Wharton and Truman Capote. Their writing imaginations would run only when they were in this posture.
- Setting writing limits:
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Some writers would also set writing limits in terms of time or words per day. Thomas Wolfe, author of Homeward Angel would write only around eighteen hundred words a day which he would space out in 10 pages.
Flannery O’Connor, author of the book The Complete Stories, suffered from lupus that did not allow her to work a lot. She would write only for two hours in a day but during that time she would completely get engrossed into her writing, entirely focused, without any disruptions.
- Acting out the written material
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Aaron Sorkin, the writer of The West Wing and The Social Network, would act out his dialogues while writing. His thoughts popped out of his head and he would start verbalizing the dialogues in his scripts unknowingly.
No matter how weird the habits are, the amount of dedication seen in these writers in immense. Not only was their writing style unique, the material that came out of that weird style of writing was unique as well.
For some writers it was due to physical difficulties that they had to adopt these ways but again this showed how much they loved their work and how keenly they wanted to put their thoughts into words.