Friday, September 29, 2006


Focusing Techniques: Learn From The Pros

from one of my favorite blogs Critical Mass

"Dame Edith Sitwell used to lie in an open coffin for a while before she began her day's writing."

"Amy Lowell, "enjoyed smoking cigars while writing, and in 1915 went so far as to buy 10,000 of her favorite Manila stogies to make sure she could keep her creative fires kindled ... "

"Voltaire ... used his lover's naked back as a writing desk ..."

"Both Dr. Samuel Johnson and the poet W.H. Auden drank colossal amounts of tea -- Johnson was reported to have frequently drunk twenty-five cups at one sitting. Johnson did die of a stroke, but it's not clear if this was related to his marathon tea drinking."

"Victor Hugo, Benjamin Franklin, and many others felt that they did their best work if they wrote in the nude. D.H. Lawrence once even confessed that he liked to climb naked up mulberry trees -- a fetish of long limbs and rough bark that stimulated his thoughts."

"Colette used to begin her day's writing by first picking fleas from her cat ..."

"Stendhal read two or three pages of the French civil code every morning before working on The Charterhouse of Parma -- 'in order' he said, 'to acquire the correct tone.' "Willa Cather read the bible. ...

"Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, and Truman Capote all used to lie down when they wrote, with Capote going so far as to declare himself 'a completely horizontal writer' ... "Thomas Wolfe, Virginia Woolf, and Lewis Carroll were all standers ... "Benjamin Franklin, Edmond Rostand, and others wrote while soaking in a bathtub ..."

"T.S. Eliot "preferred writing when he had a head cold. The rustling of his head, as if full of petticoats, shattered the usual logical links between things and allowed his mind to roam ..."

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