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9 Weird Habits That Famous Writers Formed to Write Better

9 Weird Habits That Famous Writers Formed to Write Better

Every writer is in constant search of a solid strategy for their personal daily battle with the blank page. This doesn’t only happen to newbies, it even happens to the literary icons we adore. Excellent wordsmiths have to wait for their best and motivated self before they can produce deep and thought-provoking novels and stories. Along with their drive to work in the ways that best suit them, famous writers’ own strange writing rituals also bring meaning to their creations.

Aside from innate skills and intelligence, the greatest geniuses share their potential with the world by possessing remarkable eagerness and a strong passion towards their craft. But believe it or not, most famous writers have also adopted bizarre habits in an attempt to scribble their words down on paper. Many successful authors were able to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack because of these quirky secrets. Take a look at some of the routines of these eccentrics that may help you simplify your own writing process.

1. Lying down

Twain_writing_in_bed_jpg_600x458_q85
    Mark Twain writing in bed.

    For some authors, lying down seems to set their creativity and focus in writing. They find inspiration and the right words to write while they are in the comfort of their bed. Among the successful novelists who have practiced this habit are Mark Twain, George Orwell, Edith Wharton, Woody Allen and Marcel Proust. They were all known for churning out pages while lying in bed or lounged on a sofa. American author and playwright Truman Capote even claimed to be a “completely horizontal author” because he couldn’t think and write unless he was lying down.

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    2. Standing up

    Hemingwaywriting1
      Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up.

      In contrast to point 1, writing vertically is also not peculiar for famous writers of critically acclaimed novels and motivational speeches: writers like Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Lewis Carroll, and Philip Roth. These great thinkers have been inspired to pen their finest pieces at their standing desk. For health-conscious writers, this technique might work for you because standing desks offer many proven benefits.

      3. Writing with index cards

      vladimir-nabokov-writing-draft-on-index-cards
        Vladimir Nabokov writing a draft on index cards.

        Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, was very particular about his writing instruments. He composed all his works on index cards, which he kept in slim boxes. This odd method enabled him to write scenes non-sequentially and re-order the cards any time he wanted.

        Nabokov also stored some of his lined Bristol cards underneath his pillow. This way, if an idea popped into his head, he could quickly write it down. You can use index cards when doing your note-taking or plotting too. It’s a different way to construct your story that can knock fun things loose.

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        4. Using a color-coded system

        Alexandre-Dumas2
          Alexandre Dumas

          French author Alexandre Dumas wrote his historical adventure novels like The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo using a color-coded system of writing. It may be hard to imagine, but this genius was actually very specific on the palettes of colors for his works. Interesting, right? For decades, Dumas used various colors to indicate his type of writing. Blue was the color for his fiction novels, pink for non-fiction or articles and yellow for poetry. Why not try applying different colors to your content creation and see if it can help you express yourself in print.

          5. Hanging upside down

          Dan Brown
            Dan Brown

            Hanging upside down is the cure for writer’s block; at least, this is what the renowned bestselling author Dan Brown believes. According to Brown, when he does so-called inversion therapy, it helps him relax and concentrate better on his writing. The more he does it, the more he feels relieved and inspired to write.

            Another unusual habit of the Da Vinci Code writer is having an hourglass on his desk. Every hour he sets aside his manuscript to do some push-ups, sit-ups and stretches. Imitating such weird tactics doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all. If it helps you to write, why not give it a try, right? At the very least, you’ll stay fit!

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            6. Facing a wall

            Francine_Prose
              Francine Prose

              Francine Prose, the author of Blue Angel, believes that writing while facing a wall is the perfect metaphor for being a writer. When working in a strange apartment, Prose’s solution for limiting distraction was moving her desk to face the window and looking out on a high brick wall. She found this view monotonous but it helped her to sit and write for long stretches of time.

              7. Acting out dialogues

              Aaron-Sorkin
                Aaron Sorkin

                The award-winning screenwriter behind The West Wing and The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin, confessed that he broke his nose while writing. How did it happen? Well, he likes to act out his stories’ dialogues in front of the mirror, and once, after getting carried away, he accidentally head butted it. Acting out your story dialogues is good, but make sure that you don’t step over the line and get yourself hurt when you’re structuring your story.

                8. Writing without clothes

                Victor Hugo
                  Victor Hugo

                  To complete your writing before a deadline, you may possibly consider Victor Hugo’s weird habit — writing without clothes. When he was facing a tight schedule for his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, he instructed his valet to confiscate all his clothes so he wouldn’t able to leave the house. Even during the coldest days, Hugo only wrapped himself in a blanket while he penned his story.

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                  9. Drinking massive amounts of coffee

                  Honore de Balzac.jpg
                    Honore de Balzac

                    French novelist Honoré de Balzac fueled his creative writing by consuming around 50 cups of coffee a day. Yes, that’s the amount of coffee he drank every day just to find inspiration for his written works. Some studies say that Balzac barely slept when he wrote his magnum opus, La Comedie Humaine. Besides de Balzac, another coffee-addicted author was Voltaire. He was known for drinking up to 40 cups of coffee a day.

                    Featured photo credit: the author/streetwrk.com via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                    15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                    15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                    You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                    Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                    A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                    Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                    So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                    1. Purge Your Office

                    De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                    Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                    Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                    2. Gather and Redistribute

                    Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                    3. Establish Work “Zones”

                    Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                    Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                    4. Close Proximity

                    Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                    5. Get a Good Labeler

                    Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                    6. Revise Your Filing System

                    As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                    What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                    Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                    • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                    • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                    • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                    • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                    • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                    • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                    • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                    Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                    7. Clear off Your Desk

                    Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                    If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                    8. Organize your Desktop

                    Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                    Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                    Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                    9. Organize Your Drawers

                    Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                    Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                    10. Separate Inboxes

                    If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                    11. Clear Your Piles

                    Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                    Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                    12. Sort Mails

                    Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                    13. Assign Discard Dates

                    You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                    Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                    14. Filter Your Emails

                    Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                    When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                    Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                    15. Straighten Your Desk

                    At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                    Bottom Line

                    Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                    Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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                    Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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