Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Guest post: Writing Rituals of Acclaimed Authors

As we enter cold and flu season, take to your bed if you feel ill, but don't stop writing.

Did you know T.S. Eliot practically welcomed a cold? He found that writing while so afflicted greatly helped him concoct unique, gruff voices either for different characters or in the creation of harsher scenes.

That's less harmful than Honore De Balzac's writing motivation: "To keep writing, he drank from 50 to 300 cups of coffee per day. Balzac infamously died of health problems related to caffeine poisoning... Turkish and Parisian blends particularly piqued his fancy, providing him with enough fuel to keep him writing throughout the evening and on into the night."

 Perhaps Philip Roth's methods [and I note he is still living] are a better model to follow:
"Philip Roth — much like Vladimir Nabokov — prefers this physical calibration when writing. In addition to this healthy habit, he also pushes himself to walk half a mile for every page he completes. Despite age starting to plague his body, Roth continues this ritual to benefit both body and mind. As with Haruki Murakami, he believes that clarity and creativity come when all facets of a person operate in peak condition.

Toni Morrison rose before dawn to write her way into the day, and Gertrude Stein used her car as her personal space to invoke creativity for writing poetry.

These whimsical author writing rituals, and over a dozen more come to us courtesy of a colleague, who wishes to remain unlinked.

No comments: