I have often wondered about the little writing oddities inherent in many famous authors. If there are some good ones that I’m not currently using, I might want to incorporate them into my writing habits. Here are a few tips I’ve learned from some of the greats:
For instance, good ol’ Papa (Hemingway) used to write 500 words a day, mostly in the mornings to avoid the heat. Lesson: Writing in the morning makes a person cooler.
Truman Capote used to write in pencil while lying on his couch. Lesson: Be comfortable and avoid technology.
Charles Dickens would wander around Europe trying to get lost in order to foster creativity. Lesson: Lose yourself in your creativity.
Dear Agatha would munch on apples in the bathtub while pondering murder. Lesson: It is important to murder apples while bathing.
Alexandre Dumas only wrote on blue paper. He once ran out of blue paper and had to use some cream colored substitute. He claimed his fiction suffered thereafter. Lesson: Make sure your favorite color is blue.
Nobel Prize winner, Toni Morrison began every day of writing by looking in local dumpsters for the body of Amelia Earhart. Hmmmm. She claimed the lack of a body proved to her the need to keep writing and creating. Lesson: Always take out the garbage before breakfasting with women named Amelia.
In summary, writing in the morning is cool, be comfortable, get lost, eat apples, have favorites, and don’t forget to take out the trash. Or something like that.
I know we all have our little writing quirks. It’s fine. If it makes you feel more creative, snap your fingers a dozen times, tap your lucky rabbit’s foot, or chant a little song over your laptop. So long as it’s not illegal, harmful to yourself or others, or against the commandments, finding something to serve as a repetitious portal to begin your day of writing is, at a subconscious level, a healthy start to a day of literary brilliance.