In For Writers, Learning from Legends, Writing

You’d think that legendary authors like Capote, Eliot and Welty would’ve had very formal writing habits to produce that caliber work, but you’d be wrong. Today I stumbled upon this article, “Weird Writing Habits of Famous Authors“, which exposes the truth: some of the best known writers produced their work lying down, half in the bag or with a painted face. One even pinned her stories together like a patchwork quilt.

It got me thinking about my own writing habits, which are pretty tame in comparison. Nonetheless, I have a few weird ones:

I like to write in my pajamas. (But who doesn’t?)

Before I sit down to write, I splash my face with cold water to make me more alert and soothe my eyeballs.

I write in my home office, which must be quiet as a tomb, with a faux fur blanket on my lap and fingertip-less gloves on my hands.

When I am working in my home office, I have to work alone for concentration purposes. Previously, I’ve had people ask to share the home office with me, but I’ve said no. At the very least, I would need us to have separate cubicles to work from. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t be able to focus.

The one thing I have learned about working from home is that organization is key and if your workspace is unorganized it is very difficult to get any work done. I found that simply using things like moving boxes for hire and buy, were a great solution for storage in my office. The benefits of using moving boxes are that they come in multiple sizes and they’re nice and sturdy, so perfect for my office environment. Clutter-free and ready to work.

I always have a 16 oz. cup of Wawa’s french vanilla coffee with french vanilla creamer within arm’s reach.

I do my writing on one computer and my research on another because I have computer hypochondria (the fear of downloading something that will screw up my computer and cause me to lose my manuscript).

After I finish my coffee, I chew Orbit Bubblemint gum two pieces at a time.

When my writing session ends, I superstitiously save my work in at least 2 places.

What about you? Do you have any weird work habits?

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Showing 7 comments
  • Ashley Prince

    Wow, those are pretty awesome habits I must say. I don’t really have anything weird. Now I really want to have weird habits though. I’m sure I’ll think of something.

  • Anonymous

    Mine are pretty boring compared to yours, BUT I have you beat on one of them. I save my manuscript to four different places because I am sure if I don’t I’ll never see it again if I don’t. Maybe writers are all a little OCD????

    • Erika Liodice

      Wow…4 different places? I’m not sure I even have four different places!


  • cplangford

    I do all of my brainstorming–for stories, blog posts, even to-do lists–on legal paper or in small notebooks (big ones freak me out). For some reason, my brain shuts down when I’m planning on the computer, and the only way I can make the connections necessary to develop an idea is with pen and paper. I’m just old-fashioned, I guess.

    • Erika Liodice

      I can relate to this, cplangford. I’m a big list maker. Not only do I make them for myself but I make them for my books so I don’t forget about something I want to add. Did I mention that I make them in small notebooks too? I guess we’re both old-fashioned 🙂


  • P.I. Barrington

    My sister (& co-author) has drilled it into my head to save copies in several places and I never did until I thought I lost an irreplaceable photo of one character! After that I saved that picture in every place I could think of! So I agree with that “habit” Erika! As for weird habits, I’ve been trying to develop some so that I’m more interesting at least to myself! My habits are pajama writing, coffee & Diet Coke first thing and it should be quiet as possible. Oh, and most of the time, my desk looks like it got caught in a cyclone!

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