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Fascinating Facts About Famous Writers

On the one hand, writers are people like everyone else, but they must still have some essential secrets. Yes, there are such secrets, and every writer has one.

We’ve compiled a selection of once-secret facts about how writers work, what habits help or hinder them in their work, and most importantly, how they think.

Despite popular misconception, a writer’s abilities are not the merit of some innate talent but the result of persistence, training, and constant work.

Let’s not argue that some people are more prone to creative writing than others. But without patience, assiduity, and diligence, the inclination alone will not produce a great book and even an essay – if we are talking about paper writers.

George Martin works with a primitive WordStar 4.0 word processor

George Martin’s secret is quite simple – he works with a primitive WordStar 4.0 word processor on an old MS-DOS computer from the early 1980s.

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This is a well-known fact. Technological retro helps the living classic of fantasy not to be distracted by anything in the process and not to go out of the productive state of “flow”.

By the way, Martin is not alone in this. Many famous writers advise beginners to get an old computer for work, disconnected from the Internet.

The first published novel, typed on a computer in a text editor, was “The Bomber” in 1968. The classic wrote about the “spy” genre, the British writer Len Deighton. From that moment on, typewriters were doomed to extinction.

The great Agatha Christie also had a secret – it is now known that she suffered from dysgraphia.

In other words, she was unable to write in any understandable way. That’s why most of her literary works were dictated to a typing assistant. However, even her inability to write did not prevent a clever woman with a clear mind from becoming a famous writer.

John Tolkien thought there were no new plots!

He believed there was a kind of culture-wide “storytelling cauldron” into which writers were immersed as they came up with new story plots. Many writers shared similar views (especially in the 20th century), and postmodernist writers made this approach their credo.

Astrid Lindgren nursed her sick daughter and create stories for her.

Journalist and secretary Astrid Lindgren would not have written about Pippi Longstocking if not for her daughter’s illness. Karin caught pneumonia in 1941, and her loving mother sat by her bedside every night. One day Karin, on the fly, invented the name of Pippi Longstocking and asked her mother to tell her a story. And four years later, Lindgren published the whole book.

Haruki Murakami was a bar owner but suddenly realized he wanted to write a book.

Haruki Murakami had a successful business: he owned a jazz bar in Tokyo and didn’t even think about becoming a writer. But four years later, while watching a baseball game, Murakami suddenly decided to write his novel. Not even Murakami knows why it was at that moment that he had the idea. But a year later, the book “Listen to the song of the wind” was ready.

Haruki Murakami has 14 novels and 12 collections of short stories.


Ken Kesey found inspiration after being on psychiatric ward duty.

As a Stanford student, Kesey went to work part-time as a psychiatric assistant at the Veterans Hospital. His duties also included participating in experiments with psychedelics.

Night shifts talking to patients and taking little-studied drugs prompted the future writer to create the novel Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Kesey did not believe the patients were abnormal. He believed that society rejected them, so he wanted to show the world his vision of the situation.

Janusz Wisniewski decided to save on psychotherapy sessions, so he wrote a novel.

Before becoming famous, the future Polish writer Janusz Wisniewski earned a degree as a long-distance sailor and defended his doctoral theses in physics and chemistry.

Thoughts of writing the novel came to Wisniewski when he was getting his doctorate in chemistry while undergoing an agonizing divorce. As the author himself recalls, “I was just sad… Writing such a story would be cheaper than seeing a therapist. Thus the novel “Loneliness in the Net” was born.

Fredrik Backman read the news about the crazy older man in the newspaper and turned it into a bestseller.

Fredrick Backman is a former truck driver who started his blog in 2008. In 2012, Backman found a funny story in a Swedish newspaper about an older man who had sued a zoo. Fredrik was inspired by the story and wrote his first novel, Uwe’s Second Life, which brought the aspiring writer worldwide fame.

Robert Heinlein couldn’t build a career in politics and decided to work part-time to pay his mortgage.

At age 47, Robert Heinlein wrote his famous novel Starfleet, which will be screened in 1997. But before that, there would be years of searching for a vocation. At 27, Heinlein was forced to end his military career because of tuberculosis. The young man began to study at university but soon gave it up. Then he tried to build a career in different spheres: he was a realtor and even tried himself in politics.

Failure in the political field and the availability of a mortgage prompted Heinlein to look for additional sources of income. The aspiring author miraculously managed to sell a story for twice as much as planned. From that moment, Heinlein would begin to make a living as a writer and eventually become one of the most influential fiction writers in history.


Chuck Palanic took writing classes to expand his circle of acquaintances

Journalist Chuck Palanick changed many professions, from diesel mechanic to hospice volunteer. But to create a book, the future author of “Fight Club” did not occur to him. Palanick began to develop after the courses of writing. Only he went to them to make new friends, not to sharpen skills.

Thank you for reading to the end, and we hope you enjoyed our exciting facts collection!


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