The Bizarre Writing Habits of Famous Authors

22 Oct 2019


For even the most skilled writers, it takes a special kind of motivation to turn out literary hits. While some writers may rely on a good cup of coffee, and perhaps some inspirational music, there are others who take a less conventional approach to finding motivation.

Take Benjamin Franklin, for example. He felt that his best work was done if he wrote while he was nude. He didn’t stop there, though. He was also known to frequently write while soaking in a bathtub. In fact, Franklin was credited with bringing the very first bathtub to the United States in the 1780s.

Of course, many classic writers were known to have used alcohol or drugs to put them in the “correct” mind frame (Coleridge was known to openly indulge in two grains of opium before starting his work each day).

It seems that many writers find that their body positions can make or break their ability to write for the day. Writers such as Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Lewis Carroll, and Philip Roth have all said that they did their best writing while standing up. However, others such as Mark Twain, George Orwell, Edith Wharton, Woody Allen, and Marcel Proust were known for churning out pages while laying down.

Other writers, such as Dame Edith Sitwell, found inspiration in darker places. According to this interesting blog from Delancey Place, every morning Sitwell would lie in an open coffin for a while before beginning her day’s writing.

And while some famous writers do still turn to coffee to get them through the day, few come close to the insane amount of caffeine that was consumed by Balzac. It is said that he drank more than 50 cups of coffee a day and actually ended up dying from caffeine poisoning.

So, next time you are finding yourself struggling to find motivation, perhaps you should consider trying one of these bizarre methods. Just be sure to let us know how it turns out!

Watercooler Writer 
Ever wonder what writers talk about? Our writers are always sharing something new with each other, from the latest and greatest in apps and technology to grammar rules and the origin of certain words. With our Watercooler Writer series, we have taken our very best finds, and are sharing them with you.

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