Updated: Sep 13
If you know a writer/author, then you probably know they are some weird creatures. We do things that others might find mental. And I don't just mean having full-blown conversations with our characters. Even though it may look like we need medication, these weird quirks help us with our creativity.
Writers are known for their imaginative minds and their ability to transport readers to different worlds through their words. Behind the brilliant stories they weave, authors often have unique quirks and habits that contribute to their creative process.
In this blog post, I shed some light on the fascinating world of the writer’s mind and explore some of their intriguing quirks and habits that have helped shape literature as we know it.
1. The Ritualistic Routines of Writing
Many authors adhere to specific routines before they write. These routines signal the brain that it's time to focus and create. Readers may think authors just sit down and start typing. Oh no. Not that easy. Most of us must start the writing the day the same way. Get our drink of choice in a specific mug or glass. Have certain types of snacks on hand. Some have to write in the same room at the same desk. Some may even have to wear a certain t-shirt or other clothing. It’s as if we must have everything in place in order for our minds to begin writing the story.
2. Roaming and Reflecting: The Power of Walks
Taking walks as a form of inspiration and reflection is a common habit among authors. Some get up at the same time for a break and exercise. I usually stare into space or watch a quick crime show to get my thoughts back on track. Whatever way authors draw inspiration, these roaming and reflecting types of activities open up our minds and help the ideas flow.
3. The Influence of Superstitions
Superstitions can play a significant role in an author's writing process. Some authors must jot down notes in specific colors of ink. Some can only use a fountain pen, while others must use a pencil. I know an author who can’t start the writing process without having a certain knickknack on his desk in a certain spot. Even though there's no scientific evidence to support superstitions, they offer a unique insight into the minds of writers.
4. The Sanctuary of Solitude or The Need For Music
Many authors thrive in solitude when it comes to writing. I know of authors who can’t have any distractions while they write. It must be deathly quiet, with only the clickety clack of the keyboard echoing in the room. While other authors can only write with music playing. Sometimes it can only be classical or hard rock. It all comes down to what keeps the creative juices flowing. For me, I listen to all kinds of music when I write. I often bounce around and sing while writing. However, I can’t have the TV on, that is way too distracting. And yet others play in the background. All of these help authors maintain a disciplined writing routine.
5. Coffee, Caffeine, and Creativity
The relationship between authors and caffeine is almost legendary. I believe this coffee-fueled creativity dependence affects most authors. For us, the caffeine helps us stay productive. But there are other ways to fuel the caffeine addiction. From energy drinks at specific times of day to soda pop. For other authors, caffeine isn’t even on their radar. Some, like me, enjoy a few sips of whiskey when writing late at night. The smooth caramel flavors help me relax and focus on my craft. Yet, be wary, there is a fine line when drinking whiskey, and when crossed, you end up with a lot of extra editing.
6. Unconventional Writing Preferences
Authors have unique preferences when it comes to their actual writing. Some authors must lie down in order to write. Seems strange, but I can attest to this. When I first started writing, I was recovering from a knee replacement surgery and I could only sit in my recliner. It took a long time for me to train myself to sit at a computer and enjoy writing. Other writers can only craft their stories while standing. I have tried to stand while writing…I didn’t like it. Couldn’t focus one bit. These unconventional habits remind us that creativity can't always be confined to a traditional desk and chair.
The quirks and habits of authors reveal that the creative process is as diverse as the stories they produce. From daily routines to superstitious beliefs and unique writing environments, these habits provide a glimpse into the minds of literary creators.
Hopefully, you can appreciate not only the final masterpieces but also the idiosyncrasies that contributed to their creation. So, the next time you are engrossed in an author’s book, take a moment to imagine the peculiar rituals the author might have engaged in to bring those words to life.