I forced a bot to read over 1000 listicles detailing the routines of successful writers & then asked it to write a listicle of its own. Here are the first 26.
BY SANTA CLAUS
Florence Biogoreus – Author of A small and tender liminality unfurling
I rise at 4am every morning and start my day by having rich parents.
Eddie Steamtrap – Author of The Wind Belongs to the Bulls
I usually aim to write 69 words per day. I work best just after everyone else goes to work.
Minel Longpocket – Author of Jenolan Muse
I had never written a single word before moving to the Blue Mountains after accruing a moderate amount of wealth from working full time since I was 20. I’m 59 now but I write like a horny 19 year old man pretending to be on drugs at a location absolutely anywhere in the United States in 1969.
Mary Vaucluse – Author of A Little Wharf at the End of a Long Life
I don’t often not write but when I don’t not write it’s because of my vertigo.
Timothy and Valery Cremorne – Co-authors of You, Me, and the Shaman
I aim to write 2001 words per day. I know that sounds like an oddly specific amount but as my financial adviser (and gardener) says: every amount is oddly specific if you think about it. I set my alarm for 5:45am and usually rise by 5:45am much to the horror of my sea monkeys who have usually spent the night complaining about the rent and devising ways to convince me climate change is real. It is at this hour that I am able to vibrate the most words onto the page. I am also the leader of a clandestine cult, which helps.
Franklin Quick – Author of The Ghost Who Wore A Shin Pad On His Face
I used to think I was a morning writer—how wrong I was! Well, sort of. I rise at 6.30am to walk aimlessly around the house for 15 minutes eating cold slices of soccerball ham while my sister prepares my kids for school (my wife is in Prague). My sister is cool and I have nothing against her.
Olga Fairboyle – Author of Eat, Pray, Exorcise
Too often, one awakes one mere minute before the alarm; the sunrise conducting a kind of celestial midwifery as it delivers a new day; clutching one’s smartphone at 5:59am, I am aglow in touchscreen light—screaming. Then silence. But—and it is a big but—but it isn’t an audible scream that shakes one to cereal. No way. Mouth agape, the light coming in—soundless and high pitched blue. It is the merest minute tickled by ghosts where tonsils once dangled. At the back of one’s throat. Spectral lymph nodes inspo. One can feel where they haven’t been since the autumnally senseless summer of 1979.
D.W. Mediumflog – Author of Thinktank The Pain Away
Every morning I wake to the sound of father julienning credit cards into the toilet. When he finishes, I shower until either the waters turns cold or I feel as though I might pass out from heat exhaustion. After that I never check my bank account and if anyone calls the landline I am to tell them that my parents are living overseas between Stockholm and Kuala Lumpur. I then write until somebody with whom I can get drunk finishes work.
Ferris Joyce – Author of The Day My Dreams Went To Prison
I begin my day at 1:36am by calling up my best friend, Craig, who is my parents living in New York. I tell him that I hate his guts and I hope the back of his knee itches for a full hour and that his gout returns on the day of the big awards ceremony. Craig responds by sending me money, which I use to pay the rent while using my days to apply for grants, read, and work on my next novel.
Jamie Mulletcutter – Author of The Saint Only Ate Sand
I keep fish near me. Cooked fished, sphered up into spheres fish. At all times: onions, don’t forget the fish!
Rick Thompson – Author of Left Wing, Right Wing, Chicken Wing
I used to think I was a failure but then I started having heaps of money due to steady wage growth and asset accrual since the 1960s.
Mirriam Corne – Author of Swathed In Membranous Goop Until Death Do Us Part: How Living With Frogs Saved My Marriage, Twice
I walk around for days until the sentences just come to me. I aim to write one sentence per day but if I don’t I try not to dislocate a starfish from the stone to which it clings; punished daily by the luciferous purple ribbons of the undertow. Also I was born heterosexual.
Deb Gilcox – Author of My Brother The Triceratops, My Father The Flea
I have an investment property which I subdivided into two separate addresses and charge two different households rent. Housing bubbles are cute and can melt snowflakes. My middle name is George.
Danny Drysdale – Author of Crowdfund My Bird’s Funeral
I guess what works for one person might not work for everybody. Having said that, I often fill a football sock with my least favourite cable (usually from my phone charger), swing the sock high above my head in a circular motion. Not unlike a lasso (yeehaww, etc). I do this with a steadily increasing velocity. Rituals such as this help me get into a literary headspace. If I’m experiencing writer’s block, I might spin the sock for up to six or seven hours or until I order Uber Eats for most meals.
Ruth Gleeson – Author of Sawdust Avocados
If I start writing about my writing habits then the writing is dead. Which is just as well because … I AM A HORROR WRITER!! ! Did the caps and destabilised exclamation marks unnerve you? Here’s hoping!! ! The alleged undead are central to all my books and, as such, metaphysical deaths are imperative. To achieve said oblivion, I find myself on twitter A LOT and reading wikipedia pages detailing the sad (albeit tantalising) histories of megafauna extinction events. These are conditions in which I am best equipped to do my writing.
Michael Valentich – Author of Raised By Rude Plants
First I rub my hands together: if it’s cold day I’ll blow on them and keep rubbing; if it’s a warm day I’ll spit on them and rub rub rub. Next I pound the keys of my Lenovo ThinkPad until my fingertips are numb. It is then that I suck on each finger (two minutes per fallange) before returning to the keys. The investigative journalism flies out of me like a shiny jeep reverse parking into a catchway on a Saturday in the Inner West of Sydney.
Tony Cunnell – Author of The Earth is not flat but also it’s not perfectly spherical either
I live with my parents and my parents employ servants who also live at our house.
Crumble Trembath – Author of 20 Years of Chalk
I wear special gloves to write.
Michelle Piper – Author of Flightless Bird, Random Hearse
When my heart has dried up and my brain is rapidly trashing, I go down to the food court and don’t read.
Sally Biltong – Author of Water Hammer
Within a manmade rockpool built in the mid-80s as a local ‘sealife enticer’ designed to attract the marine population of the area, I write. The rockpool also serves to guard the local sea ecosystem from the nearby sewerage pump. Somebody keeps throwing their bad cabbages into the bay and for that they will be … in my next book! Be careful what you do near authors ;)
Rhiannon Bint – Author of The Great Australian Bite
Citrus is ... devastating. Mango is … death to the corners of my mouth. I take what I can from … the people around me. I get ... on the roof every electrical storm … and wipe citrus on every single thing. Citrus is … devastating.
Gene Sundry – Author of Cognitive Beer Therapy
I lick my halo. I am a driverless vehicle! My heart is hairy bunting??
Daniel Ductless – Author of The Bitcoin Farmer’s Wife’s Cousin’s Daughter’s Boss’ Daughter
I turn my body. 2 minutes. Then I go fishing and catch a fish. I knock the fish unconscious with a copy of Infinite Jest and weep. Four hours. Then the words come in bursts like tectonic plates subdividing. Five minutes.
Audrey Pockle – Author of How Do I Say Baguette Hell?
First I make it rain by shooting salt-and-mineral-filled bullets into the sky. When the downpour begins so, too, does the majesty of the written word.
Jared Willis – Author of Suck The Fossil
I suck on fossils I find at the base of these big sea cliffs near my uncle’s property portfolio. The fossils make my hands big and powerful. So much so that I have to use a very big pen to sign contracts.
Ash Asley – Author of At The Stroke Of Midday
Freud is dead, baby. Grand characters in psycho-history aren’t the only vortex from which I draw inspiration. If you’re a writer like me, you probably find yourself in the apartment your parents bought you instead of enjoying the view of the food court. I begin every personal literary epoch by torching a 44-foot Wicker Man at a secret location. Non Omnis Moriar.
About the author
Formerly a goat, Santa Claus lives in the Laughing Valley of Hohaho where he tends to his ten reindeer—who cannot fly, but are able to leap in enormous, flight-like bounds.
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