As writers we are willing to go to great length to tempt our muses and get the writing down on the page. Some have a favourite pen, a journal or a cosy corner to jot down their inspired words. This works for some writers. For others the writing does not flow unless the writer is willing to take extreme measures. Below are some famous writers in history who took to unusual methods to get their words on the page.
- Writing Naked
To write his book ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ within the set deadline, Victor Hugo placed himself under house arrest. He told his valet to banish all his clothes so he would not be able to go out. He wrote wearing only a knitted gray shawl.
2. Writing Vertically
Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Wolfe, Philip Roth, Vladimir Nabokov and Lewis Carroll wrote standing up. Some of these writers used a tall writing desk while some others worked with what they had like the top of a refrigerator. Nabokov also did most of his writing on index cards.
3. Writing Horizontally
“I am a completely horizontal author.” Truman Capote
Mark Twain wrote lying in bed. Woody Allen, Marcel Proust, George Orwell and Truman Capote share this habit of writing in bed or while lounging on a sofa.
4. Writing by Candlelight
Jack Kerouac lighted a candle ritually and prayed before beginning to write. He snuffed it out when he was done for the night.
5. Writing in Uniform
James Joyce suffered from a lot of eye problems and was nearly blind. He wrote with a large blue pencil, lying on his stomach in bed.’Finnegans Wake’ was composed with crayons on cardboard. He wore a milkman’s uniform as he believed it caught sunlight and reflected on to his page.
6. Writing while Riding
Sir Walter Scott composed most of his epic poem ‘Marmion’ while on horseback.
Do you have any quirky writing habit? How far are willing to go to get your story down?