Writers Are Really Weird

If you complete some research on famous writers and their writing habits you find interesting things like this:

Writer A writes 2000 words a day without fail.

Writer B can only write standing up and produces 3000 words a day.

Writer C writes 1,500 words in the early hours of the morning before the family wakes up.

Writer D dances widdershins around the coffee pot before lighting an incense stick and playing whale song CDs, and writes with rainforest-certified pencils on hand-made paper recycled from a daily newspaper from Australia. And then writes 5000 words.

(I made the last one up).

Whenever I read about the habits of famous authors, all I take away from the information is that there are some really whacked-out, freaky, obsessive-compulsive writers, probably alcoholic and addicted to something.

All you learn is that each writer has their own idiosyncrasies which may or may not work for you.

It’s an interesting exercise from a creative point of view but rather pointless in understanding how YOU create and write.

There is no single formula applicable to every creative person or writer. There is no “one size fits all” category.

And there’s no point in telling you how I work because it probably won’t be applicable to you.

Simply, find the process that works for you.


Knowing how someone creates gives you a template to begin understanding your own process.

I am a new and emerging writer. I have had a number of short stories published and I am working towards a number of fiction and non-fiction projects. I am not professional in the sense I make a living from writing.

I teach high school English full time. This means there are times when writing cannot be fitted in to my week.

This is how I write: my writing is fitted into the timetable of my day in regards to work and family. Normally this means evenings (once the children are in bed) or on weekends. I cannot guarantee the same amount of time to write each week so I have to be as productive as possible.

I don’t write at school because there is enough to do there without adding extra. School holidays provide more time to write, but even then there is school work to do (marking of assessments and preparation).

Simply put it is a case of write when you can write.

Make time to write.

Fit it into the spare moments of the day.

Plan to write and follow through on that plan. Even if it’s only 200 words.

Again, find the process that works for you.



3 responses to “Writers Are Really Weird

  1. I think it’s good to discuss your writing rituals and habits. New writers need to look at how others do it and pick and choose the things that work for them and sometimes experienced writers need to flip things up a bit and try new stuff…or just know they’re not the only crazy ones out there. Of course, if you interact with writers at all, you already know that. 🙂

    • I was reading a post about the habits of famous writers and all I took away from it was how weird they really are, pedantic to a fault about their process. Hence the above post.
      It does help to understand how people create, what rituals and habits they have, but at the end of the day each writer has to work within their own lifestyle.
      Simply put it is a case of write when you can write. Make time to write. Plan to write and follow through on that plan. Even if it’s only 200 words.
      And you’re right; we’re all strange.

  2. I do love reading about other people’s writing habits, maybe even trying out a couple of rituals myself, but then I go back to my old, devious ways.

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