Catch the wind

Catch the wind

Saturday, July 14, 2012

...creature of habit


when it comes to writing im a creature of habit. i cant write not one word without having a bag of reeses miniature peanutbutter cups right next to me. for every page i write i get one peanutbutter cup. theres 36 in a regular bag (i counted). if i ate the whole bag  the good news is id write 36 pages!  bad news? id be sick as a dog. ACK!  

i got wondering about famous authors and if they had habits that helped them write. so i went and asked my know-it-all friend mr google. WOW! i found some pretty strange stuff. 

truman capote: "I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched onh a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping. As afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis. No, I don't use a typewriter. Not in the beginning. I write my first version in longhand (pencil). Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand."

edith wharton: she was a pulitzer prize winning american novelist and short story writer. she liked to write while she was in her bed. sounds good to me. ha ha.

ernest hemingway: he wrote standing up. he wrote 500 words a day in the morning so he could stay out of the heat. "I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of s_ _ t. I try to put the s_ _t in the wastbasket."

william faulkner: before he became a writer he liked to drink lots of whiskey. he and a writer friend of his drank lots of whiskey together and chatted til early in the morning. falkner said, "The next morning he'd be working. And, I thought then, if that was the life it took to be a writer, that was the life for me."

ray bradbury: the first thing he did when he woke up in the morning was go straight to his typewriter and start writing. he trained himself to do that.

t. s. eliot:  he liked to be called "Captain Eliot." he wrote in his hideaway above a publishing house and upstairs at a nearby lodge. visitors at the lodge had to ask to see "The Captain." he tinted his face with green powder so he could look like a corpse. YIKES! how weird is that! 

vladimir nabokov: he loved loved loved index cards. most of his novels were written on 3 x 5 cards. he paper clipped them together and stored them in boxes. he said, "My schedule is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers."

eudora welty:  she used straight-pins to hold her stories together. she said, "I used to use ordinary paste and put the story together in one long strip, that could be seen as a whole and at a glance - helpful and realistic. When the stories got too long for the room I took them up on the bed or table and pinned them. That's when my worst stories were like patchwook quilts, you could almost read them in any direction ... I like pins." 

thomas wolfe:  he said, "I use a typewriter. I set myself a quota - ten pages a day, triple-spaced which means about eighteen hundred words. If I can finish that in three hours, then I'm through for the day. I just close up the lunch box and go home - that's the way I think of it anyway. If it takes me twelve hours, that's too bad, I've go to do it."

are you a creature of habit? what habits do you have that help when youre writing?

...big pb cup hugs from lenny

p.s. guess what?!! miss natalie did a interview with me and its gonna be on her and miss caseys fantastical blog at literaryrambles on monday july 17th. WOW! how cool is that!! if you got a little time on monday go read it. thanks miss natalie! :)

42 comments:

  1. I'm glad I don't have peanut butter cups near by or I would be really fat. They are a delicious treat though. And congrats on the interview. I'll check it out.

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  2. Best I not tempt myself with sweet treats....maybe carrot sticks???? Congratulations on the interview.

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  3. I read William Faulkner's book As I Lay Dying in high school, and if he was a big whiskey drinker, the whole thing makes a lot more sense to me!! :D

    I do my best drafting at night. I can edit and revise any time of day, but if I have to write a new chapter or even a new scene for something I'm revising, it's almost always going to be after 10pm.

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  4. What a great collection. And I gotta say that peanut butter cups are a lot more healthy than whiskey!

    Like Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, I type standing up, and I write everything in lowercase, 'cause it's not only quicker, but when editing it's easier to move things around.

    See you on Monday!

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  5. this is really interesting stuff....and i'd have to stay away from the pb cups-i LOVE them! i listen to rain on my ipod and find a dark, quiet place and sit on the floor with my 'puter. weird but it's the best process i've found.

    i will try to make it over for the interview, congratulations!

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  6. I'm impressed. At your age, I'd never heard of these authors.

    Can't wait to read your interview, Lenny. :)

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  7. Hi Lenny! I like the peanut butter cups idea. I may have to steal it. lol

    I write in bed, at the library, anywhere I am able. I do have a composition book with me at all times. I often write longhand first.

    I do listen to music, too. I find a song that fits a good scene and play it over and over.

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  8. Those are some very strange habits! I think ts eliot was more than a bit of a nut!!

    I like having my cup of Chai tea with me as I write. If it's really hot, I switch to water. nothing too interesting! :)

    Looking forward to the interview!

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  9. Wonderful post,Lenny! Wow, some of those authors had some strange habits.

    I like to write in the afternoon with a flask of coffee and my jar of jolly ranchers handy.

    CONGRATULATIONS on being interviewed on Literary Rambles!

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  10. Wow! You did a lot of research Lenny. I like to drink coffee when I write. I'd love to eat candy like you but am afraid of gaining too much weight.

    So excited for your interview tomorrow.

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  11. What a post Lenny, great job. I would like to let other people know that you are into this kind of research, may be today's writers might want to give info about their writing habits too. I believe that today's writers are doing a good job too ( like yourself).

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  12. Can't wait to see you on Literary Rambles! And those were some fascinating factoids on some great authors, by the way!

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  13. What a super cool post, super cool Lenny! *wink* Love it. Man, some of them were a little freaky! Ha! I gotta write in the mornings mostly with a TON of coffee by my side. Plus, I like peanut butter cups too, but me and you both know I cannot have 'em right now. *sob* I cannot wait for your interview. xoxo

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  14. Hi Lenny - as you say .. very interesting habits - green like a corpse .. I'd be scared and hide under a table and not write one little word!

    I'd love my brain to be able to move the words from my mind when I'm in creative mode .. in he car, in the bath, or half asleep at night ... sadly that teleporting doesn't seem to happen!!

    Loved reading about those writer's habits .. Eudora's pinning - is really what we do today isn't it ... Pinterist and Mind Mapping ..

    I love Peanut Butter - but not in sweet things .. it has to be salty ... then it's yum yum!

    I'm going to check your interview - sounds fun .. cheers for now - Hilary

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  15. You sure listed some awesome writers, Lenny! So cool. I'm off to read your interview now.

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  16. Hi Lenny - as you say .. very interesting habits - green like a corpse .. I'd be scared and hide under a table and not write one little word!

    I'd love my brain to be able to move the words from my mind when I'm in creative mode .. in he car, in the bath, or half asleep at night ... sadly that teleporting doesn't seem to happen!!

    Loved reading about those writer's habits .. Eudora's pinning - is really what we do today isn't it ... Pinterist and Mind Mapping ..

    I love Peanut Butter - but not in sweet things .. it has to be salty ... then it's yum yum!

    I'm going to check your interview - sounds fun .. cheers for now - Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/

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  17. LOL, my daughter is a huge Reese peanut butter cup fan too! Wish I could get as many pages as Thomas Wolfe does every day.
    Look forward to reading your interview :)

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  18. LOVED your interview, Lenny. lol on the pb cups. Ties in well with being a PB writer! My habit is...email, coffee, blog, write....have been trying to do the Ray Bradbury thing. Get up and write. He felt that that was when his brain was at its creative best.

    Thanks!

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  19. I really enjoyed your interview, Lenny! It was great to learn more about you. Thanks for sharing this info; it's inspiring to see how other writers work and think.

    Have a good week! :)

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  20. I just read your interview over at Literary Rambles Lenny. I really enjoyed it! I also love the idea of eating Reese's peanut butter cups as you write...maybe I should try that... ;) *new follower*

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  21. Great post, Lenny!! And I LOVED your interview!! :)

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  22. What a great idea about giving yourself a treat after writing a page. My habits? Well, I can't think of any, but my summer goal is 200 words a day.

    And fascinating about all the different habits by the greats.

    P.S. Loved the interview!

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  23. I love the idea of giving yourself a treat after writing. I thought it was fascinating to find out what some famous authors did. Standing up! Index cards! Wow- very fascinating. So glad I found your blog. :)
    ~Jess
    http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

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  24. Hi, Lennie,
    Writer can and do have some strange habits. The one I like best is lying down while writing, but of course, it's kinda difficult to type lying down. :)

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  25. Wow! I really learned a lot, Lenny. Thanks so much. I knew a little bit about Hemingway and I've actually heard the Capote quote before, but the rest was all new to me. How weird about T.S. Eliot tinting his face green to look like a corpse. I really enjoy your blog, Lenny. You manage to be both fun and informative. And I just read your interview over at Literary Rambles!

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  26. Great post, Lenny! I love the idea of pinning all the pages together like a patchwork quilt.

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  27. Hi, Lenny! Great post. Yummy reward for each page written. : )

    I look forward to reading the interview.

    Have an AWESOME day!

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  28. Hi Lenny! Visiting your blog after reading the interveiw on literary rambles. Love this post! I can not sit still while I write so I use a treadmill desk. I like the idea of adding peanut butter cups as a reward for each page (or so...)

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  29. Love reading what these other writers did. I could definitely go with your Reese's Cup incentive, but I've also been prone late at night to write accompanied by a glass of brandy. Maybe I need to actually develop some consistent habits to help my writing.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  30. Nothing more fascinating than literary tidbits, and you definitely found some fascinating ones. I had a great time imagining Hemmingway on his feet scribbling the opening lines for The Sun Also Rises or Nabokov shuffling his index cards. I'd love to see those notes!

    Thank you for the great visit.

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  31. These are some classic writers that I need to reacquaint myself with. Gotta love Vladimir Nabokov and his 3 X 5 cards and pencils. Tools of the trade back in the day.

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  32. Awesome post! I love learning about the different quirks and habits famous authors have:)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  33. Haven't been blogging much in a while and it's great to read your post! I also enjoyed your interview very much! Thanks for sharing about these authors' habits. Mine is writing first thing in the morning, eating (but not peanut butter cups, although that sounds like a great idea!), and writing longhand using pencil with a good eraser.

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  34. It's neat reading about writers and their processes. I don't blame you for eating Reeses! YUM! And what a great reward for finishing a page!

    I find I have to have a cup of coffee before I start writing. If I don't, I just can't find my groove. I bet a lot of writers say this--we are coffee addicts!

    Hope you are having a great summer, Lenny!

    Angela

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  35. I used to write (and study) with a few pieces of lindt chocolate next to me. After a while I realised I had to get out of that habit if I wasn't going to completely ruin my teeth!

    Now I write with a glass of water and nothing else. I eat before I write so I'm not distracted by hunger in the middle. Sometimes I have classical music in the background but mostly I prefer silence.

    Jai

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  36. So many habits I didn't know! I love what Tom Wolfe and Bradbury did. I'll have to try that. Writing is dedication and it's good to hear what the greats did to keep them at the grindstone. Thanks, Lenny! Hugs!

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  37. Wow, where do you find all this stuff, Lenny? You're a regular encyclopedia of cool factors.

    I write in the morning. On my none blogging days, I get up at 5 am to write. :D

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  38. Incredible quest there. What happened after? Thanks!

    http://ghsodappallam.arividam.org/node/29335

    http://stingserv.cms.maisd.com/groups/flippedclassroom/wiki/aab47/penis_enlargement_fats_and_then_remedies.html

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  39. My partner and i value your time and efforts regarding getting see of above reviewed subject.
    Messe Hilfe

    ReplyDelete

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