Rituals and Habits of a Few Famous Authors

As much as we love the practical side of writing, we also appreciate its quirkiness. The rituals and habits of writers are as diverse as ever. Let’s look at the rituals of a few famous authors.

Truman Capote considered himself a “horizontal author,” because he would lie supine on his bed or a chaise while writing in longhand. (This was Mark Twain’s habit as well.)

Maya Angelou would check into a hotel to do nothing but write. Staff would have to remove distracting art from the walls, and she would bring her legal pads, a bottle of sherry, a deck of cards, a thesaurus and a bible.

Agatha Christie ate apples in the bathtub, notepad and pen nearby, so that she didn’t miss one inspired thought.

Aaron Sorkin acts out his characters out loud. He switches back and forth between characters reciting dialogue to see how well it works for his stories…while looking into a mirror.

Toni Morrison writes before the sun comes up and early in the morning, a ritual she began when her children were young.

Richard Wright would climb a hill in Fort Greene Park and sit on a bench to write in longhand.

The thing all of these writers have in common is that they wrote. Do you have ritual or habit that enables you to write better and undistracted? I would love for you to share it with me in the comment section.

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