Famous writers’ idiosyncracies

Spending a lifetime writing can make for some interesting eccentricities. Here are a few from well-known authors.

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Corporate communicators can be an eccentric bunch.

Whether it’s because we write for a living or because we write for a living in a corporate environment, we all have idiosyncrasies—and may develop more as we continue to pen phrases.

We balance the sometimes-unreasonable demands of clients and executives with the need to craft messages that are clear and concise.

We argue with others about which lazy corporate verbs should be banned from our writing.

We correct the grammar in the books that we read out loud to our kids.

Throughout my career in corporate communications, I have cultivated many writing eccentricities—more than I care to count. I find in comfort that many famous writers were also quite unconventional in their writing habits and rituals.

Here are a few examples, taken from “Odd Type Writers: From Joyce and Dickens to Wharton and Welty, the Obsessive Habits and Quirky Techniques of Great Authors” by Celia Blue Johnson:

Victor Hugo would remove all his clothes and give them to his servant. His servant was then instructed not to return the clothes until Hugo had completed his writing for the day.

Truman Capote would not start or finish a piece of work on a Friday.

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