“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
It’s Friday, the sun is shining, and it’s finally 70 degrees outside! Spring has officially arrived and did I mention, it’s FRIDAY?! Friday always calls for a little fun. We work hard all week and we deserve to let loose a little. Well, Bustle came to the rescue again and gave me just the right amount of silliness I was looking for. Today they talked about some strange habits from famous writers and although it’s mostly entertaining and perfect for my “let loose” Friday attitude, we might actually learn something from it as well.
- Get your cardio on. Many famous authors (like J.A. Jacobs, Kurt Vonnegut, and Haruki Murakami) swear by their workout routine and I couldn’t agree more. I know that when I don’t get at least a little exercise in each day, I feel sluggish and tired. It even effects how I feel the next day, until I get around to working out again. Keeping some sort of physical activity built into your day will only help you to keep on top of that ‘to-do’ list.
- Keep busy. Franz Kafka swore by exhaustion. I do like my beauty sleep, but I can definitely see the benefit of keeping a busy and regimented schedule. If you give yourself too much freedom, you will become lazy. There will always be the, “I’ll do it later or tomorrow” excuse. Keep yourself busy with work, hobbies, friends/family so that when you do have time to finally sit down and write- you actually sit down to write.
- Pick up a dictionary. Anthony Burgess turned to the dictionary to help him write some of his scenes. All writers have at least that one scene that they are really dreading to write. Most of the time because they know it’s going to be a daunting task to get it right. Burgess suggests picking up a dictionary and using the words on a random page to write your scene. Not only is it a fun challenge, but you will end up with a unique scene that you never would have written otherwise.
- Stand. Thomas Wolfe, along with many other famous writers, liked to write standing up. Sitting down all day is detrimental to our health, so we should all be trying to stand a little bit more anyways. Plus, standing prevents us from getting too comfortable and forces us to focus on the task at hand.
- I’m just going to skip #5 and leave you to our own devices on this one. It’s certainly entertaining nonetheless.
- Find your own space. Maya Angelou rented a hotel room in her hometown on a monthly basis and used it for writing. Sometimes we need to separate ourselves from everything else going on in our lives in order to be completely present and focused on our task at hand.
- Get off your feet. Authors such as Edith Wharton and Mark Twain preferred to write while lying down. I can’t think of a better excuse to curl in bed with your writing supplies in tow.
- Keep your own traditions. Capote held many superstitions when it came to writing and I don’t think he’s completely crazy for it. Sometimes doing something over and over again a particular way (for whatever the reason may be, or perhaps there’s no reason at all) brings comfort and consistency. If you feel good about your actions (or lack thereof) you will most likely feel more confident about the writing you just produced.
- Loose the layers. John Cheever and Victor Hugo did their writing in different stages of undress. Not sure if I would practice this method myself, but there surely is a freeing sensation about being close to your natural state that could very well carry over into your writing as well.
- Travel more. Gertrude Stein and Joseph Heller did their best writing on the move. Seeing new places, people, and things will help ignite new inspiration. I know that I could definitely do better writing on a beach in the Caribbean…