MainNewsAuthor's Point of View
Vector towards Health: Respond to the Challenges of the Time
In Memory of Vasily Leonchikov

Cats, apples and funny hats: unusual habits of writers

Cats, apples and funny hats: unusual habits of writers
Other news

Palina Dolia

Who among us has not faced a creative stagnation? Whether you're doing, painting or baking cupcakes, a sudden crisis spares no one, and now you are sad on the edge of the sofa, unable to do what you love. So how to prevent sudden stagnation in the middle of the workflow? That's right - to make an eccentric habit! Get out the blue crayons and sherry: today we take a look at the most unusual writing habits of famous authors, which helped them to fight fatigue, crisis and... own laziness.


Do you want an apple?

Aldous Huxley used LSD to create. Jack Kerouac owes his books to benzedrine, an amphetamine. Honore de Balzac drank more than 50 cups of coffee a day, sharpening his senses and almost completely depriving himself of sleep.

And Friedrich Schiller loved rotten apples.

No, don't eat, just smell them. Yes, I kept them right in my desk drawer. No, no one knows what the reason is - it was just so comfortable. Every time Schiller felt that he could no longer squeeze a line out of himself, he opened his apple crate and inhaled until inspiration returned. According to his wife and friends, Schiller categorically could not work without it.

However, food (and apples in particular, albeit fresh) often inspired writers to new achievements. Agatha Christie also loved apples - especially crunching them in the bathroom, pondering another crime. Flannery O'Connor crunched with vanilla waffles, while Vladimir Nabokov fed his creative genius with molasses.


Cats, fleas and big bulldog

Writers are not alien to the human - including sincere love for their pets. Somehow, Edgar Allan Poe created his sinister and gloomy stories - scratching his cat, fluffy Katarina behind the ear. Without her, the work did not go, and life was not sweet.

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was also an exemplary hostess. No matter how many changes happened in her life, no matter how radically the themes of her work changed, from the harsh everyday life of war to domestic violence and fashionable hats, her love for the bulldog named Toby Chen remained unchanged. Therefore, whenever Colette could not collect her thoughts, she went to catch fleas from the fur of her beloved dog. And if that was not enough, the writer armed herself with a fly swatter and went hunting for flies in the room.

maya angelou.jpg

Heres and seclusion on all fronts

Poetess and writer Maya Angelou at home could not concentrate on writing at all. The way out is simple: leave the confines of a cozy apartment and go to the nearest hotel, where no one will be able to interfere with creativity. For her, in the room, all the paintings and decorations were removed from the walls, everything unnecessary was removed from the shelves and pedestals. If we are to retire, then from everything in the world! No distractions. Only the author, a typewriter and a glass of sherry at eleven in the morning.

By the way, empty walls are a fairly common way to concentrate. Another writer, Francine Prowse, always put the table by the window, so that in front of her was only the empty brick wall of the house opposite. Monotonous and monotonous, but effective. You cannot be distracted by something if there are only bare walls around.


In strange clothes...

What sets you up for work better than a uniform? Writers in this regard are not so lucky - you can create even in a three-piece suit, even in a dressing gown and slippers. True, some still used clothing as a way to get themselves into a working mood - for example, the children's writer Dr Seuss. He had more than 300 different hats in his collection, strange and not so, literally for all occasions. Every time things began to fall out of hand, Seuss went to his secret closet, where he chose a hat that suits his mood until inspiration returned to him. And then in this hat, he created, of course. Actually, it was thanks to this habit that one of the most famous books of Dr Seuss was born - "The Cat in the Hat".


James Joyce used clothes more rationally and seriously. By the time Finnegans Wake was written, Joyce's vision was poor - he was very short-sighted and ultimately nearly blind. But the writer still came up with one trick that helped him create. Each time, he certainly put on white, and lay down to write across the bed and thus added a little more light to himself. By the way, for writing, Joyce used large blue pencils - they also helped him to see a little better everything that was happening on paper.


... and no clothes at all

Sometimes it is so difficult to force yourself to work that you have to go to the most extreme measures. Victor Hugo did not shy away from such. When, in the cold December 1830, the deadline for the delivery of the manuscript "Notre Dame de Paris" was approaching, Hugo could not resist, gathered his clothes and ordered the servant to hide them well. He certainly won't be able to go out for a walk and take time off from work!

This is how the great Victor Hugo worked - naked, barefooted and wrapped in his wife's big grey shawl. But "Notre Dame Cathedral" was completed exactly on time.


Lots of tobacco and no Fridays

Truman Capote himself admitted that he was rather eccentric. There were more signs and superstitions in his life than in anthropological collections. Capote ignored Fridays as the day for starting or ending work, did not stay in thirteenth hotel rooms, and always counted the sum of the numbers in the phone numbers. If all the digits in your number add up to 13, you can forget about the calls from Truman Capote.

Superstition also affected one of the most important parts of the writer's creative process - smoking. Capote smoked a lot, but he never left more than three cigarette butts in his ashtray. The writer threw everything unnecessary into his coat pocket so as not to be distracted from the letter.


Benzedrine, more coffee and a huge roll of paper

As mentioned above, American writer Jack Kerouac had a very prosaic way to fuel his inspiration - benzedrine. Hipster, what to take from him. But today we will recall another of his curious habit, which helped not to break away from writing a book for a minute. Kerouac wrote his most famous work, On the Road, on a huge roll of paper nearly 120 feet long. With such paper, you don't have to insert new sheets of paper into the typewriter, but only create, create, create...

It took three weeks of frantic typing, lots of coffee, benzidrine, and countless stories of American road trips, freight trains, and red wine under the moonlight somewhere outside Denver. And then Kerouac showed up to the editorial office with this manuscript and was terribly offended at the request to cut the roll at least into album sheets... but that's a completely different story.


A respite in an open coffin

Yes, you got it right. Rumor or not, the unusual habit of the poet Edith Sitwell deserves attention. If only because Edith herself was a specific woman - she sincerely did not love people, led a reclusive lifestyle, and every day before starting work... lay in a coffin.

It's hard to say which inspired her more - alienation, the smell of an old tree, or the imaginary proximity of death. Maybe that's the only way she felt alive. At least there was something like that in her diaries: "the whole world is a pond with catfish, and I am an electric eel in it." Be that as it may, relaxing in an open coffin was a great source of inspiration.

As you can see, literally anything can give strength for work. Try eating apples in the bathtub, locking yourself in an empty room, or scratching your cat's ear - some of these should probably work for you.

And let the one who does not have a single strange habit be the first to throw a stone at me (metaphorically).

Internet Portal Maintenance Department


Nothing is Sacred: Why Reading Over Your Shoulder Annoys You

20 Apr 2021

It happened to each of us. You cram into a crowded subway car, you can hardly find a free space to fit at least your head, a book is in your hands, you open it – after all, you stopped at the most interesting moment, how can you not read it? That is when it happens. Someone else's curious glance slides over the pages, the uninvited reader almost puffs in your – what an audacity! Although... What's the big deal? Why does a glance at someone else's book, thrown by a fellow passenger, awaken so much anger and irritation in us? Let's try to figure out.

Author's Point of View

7 Books About North Korea that will Surprise You

16 Apr 2021

What do we know about North Korean literature? In fact, almost nothing. What about literature about the country itself? The National Library is full of amazing books on the subject that have become rare in stores or have disappeared altogether. Fasten your seat belts: we are starting a long journey to the most mysterious country of our time.

Author's Point of View