Eccentric Writing Habits of Famous Writers [Infographic]

eccentric writing habits

Visual artists, musicians, writers… the creative arts have been known to elicit eccentric and bizarre behavior in the people who chase their muse. If you are prone to strange habits and rituals in the course of your writing, you are not alone. Many of the world’s most brilliant and prolific authors engaged in unusual practices to bring their incomparable poetry and prose to the page. Some habits were born of practicality, others of superstition, and some… well, who can say?

The folks at Global English Editing profile 18 famous writers in the infographic below. All of these writers had very specific ideas about what they needed to craft their work – from writing utensils to what they could wear while writing, from what hours of the day they would work to what they wanted their writing spaces to smell like.

Great writing comes from the freedom to create without judgment in an environment that sparks creativity and fosters a feeling of security, and if that means churning away in your underwear or scribbling your genius in purple crayon, go for it!

eccentric writing habits



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  1. A friend at the U. of Chicago had an acquaintance that worked at the college in Hartford. Every day, from his high office window, he would see Stevens walking to and from work. One day, as he was watching Stevens passing, a most peculiar thing happened. Stevens stopped completely for almost a minute. Then he walked backward a goodly number of steps, stopped, and then continued on. The supposition: since Stevens was known to compose poems during his walks, it seemed most possible that he had here erased some lines by the simple act of walking backward…..and why not?

  2. If I couldn’t write with an ashtray containing more than three butts in it, I would be spending more time emptying ashtrays than writing.

  3. I was sitting outside having coffee at a Copeland’s in New Orleans with this stunningly beatiful woman who was not responding to any of my subtle advances when a lightning bolt of inspiration hit me.I excused myself to the men’s room and wrote down as much as I could. When I returned she didn’t seem quite as radient. I suddenly needed to get home to my real love.

  4. Some of the more bizarre writing habits cited make mine seem positively sane. Thank you.

    By the way, an ash tray with even one used cigarette in it would distract me. Yuk.


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