Author Topic: (People widely accepted to be) Good or Great Authors' Routines  (Read 3123 times)


  • Bill Peters, EP Assistant
  • Hipparch
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We've talked a bit about people's routines, so I thought you folks might be interested in a blog that chronicles the routines of such authors as Toni Morrison, Thomas Friedman, and Truman Capote.

I like Capote's, since I find myself doing the same recently due to a pretty bad desk and chair in my dorm room. (Minus cigarettes, alcohol, and ink or lead).

Truman Capote
What are some of your writing habits? Do you use a desk? Do you write on a machine?

I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping. As the 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. Essentially I think of myself as a stylist, and stylists can become notoriously obsessed with the placing of a comma, the weight of a semicolon. Obsessions of this sort, and the time I take over them, irritate me beyond endurance.

The Paris Review, Issue 16, 1957

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


  • Hipparch
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Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 06:11:21 PM
My routine:

* Write when I can.
* Usually late in the day (the only time I have).
* Listen to instrumental music (music with words is distracting).
* Go for 30-180 minutes, depending upon how into the story I am.

I tend to start stories when a particular emotion strikes me. "The Next Time Around" came after a fight with my wife. "113 Feet" came after hearing "Pressure" on EP. "Shell Game" was born of boredom at work. "My Pillow" happened when I woke up in the middle of the night with my body pillow on top of me.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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