Have you ever wondered about the creative processes of exceptionally talented, successful writers? 

One might argue that all writers are “weird” in some way. They disregard the status quo and explore the roads not taken—always pushing boundaries and testing their limits.

Along the way, they develop certain habits, beliefs, and practices that may seem eccentric to other people—but it’s often a conscious effort on their part to discover what works best for them.

Every writer is a creature of habit. Some of the most successful authors have peculiar and harmless habits, quirks, superstitions, and beliefs tied to their writing.

Many writing habits and ticks are developed over time and grow stranger with success. But many poets, playwrights, and screenwriters believe they wouldn’t be successful without them.

Famous authors have credited their quirky habits to their prolific output and mastery of their craft.

Writing is the type of undertaking that can take a lifetime to master and the successful ones tend to share some interesting habits.

Famous authors and their quirky habits

Maya Angelou

Her work is world-renowned and award-winning, and her writing habits are just as fascinating. Angelou regularly wrote in a bare hotel room. She insisted that hotel staff not change the sheets and remove all the art from the walls. “To write, I lie  across the bed, so that one elbow is absolutely encrusted at the end, just so rough with callouses.”

Isabel Allende

Chilean-American author Isabel Allende began writing her first novel on January 8, 1981. What had started as a letter to her grandfather who was dying eventually transformed into The House of the Spirits. Allende now begins all of her books on that same day, January 8th.

Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess was a novelist, poet, playwright, composer, and author of the iconic book, A Clockwork Orange. He also had a fascinating way of breaking through writer’s block by writing from pages of the dictionary. When stuck in his writing he’d open a dictionary and try to use every word on the page in the description. Burgess also had an odd fascination with dictionaries, even creating one of his own which was filled with slang terms.

Jack Kerouac

Best known for his legendary novel On the Road, Jack Kerouac is credited with pioneering the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He was also kind of a nut. Kerouac usually wrote by candlelight. He would kneel and pray to God before every writing session to ask for preservation of his mind. It is possible he was doing that because he was slowly losing it. When done writing he would blow out the candle for the night. “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” – Jack Kerouac

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“Linda has published sixteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish. She has mentored many authors and edited their work.” 

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