At DeLaune and Associates, we spend many hours each day writing. Staff members write technical copy, retail collateral, and healthcare articles. So, it was particularly interesting when one of our staff ran across a blog on interesting rituals of successful writers. This prompted an informal in-house discussion on what our particular writing rituals were compared to those of some famous writers.
Well-known authors such as George Orwell, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Winston Churchill, and Marcel Proust all shared a little-known writing quirk: they all wrote while lying in bed. In this age of laptop computers, I often find myself writing late at night in bed with a computer balanced on my lap so perhaps this technique isn’t that strange. But, these famous writers from the 19th and 20th century all lived in the day before computers, so they were writing longhand. I can’t imagine writing with old-fashioned pen and ink while lying down.
Pulitzer Prize winning author John Cheever wrote mostly in his underwear. Fortunately, at DeLaune and Associates, our writers keep their clothes on when typing on their computers.
Closer to home for us at DeLaune is the advertising guru and copywriter David Ogilvy who would drink great quantities of rum before composing his copy. Would our office would be more productive with some Kalua in our morning coffee? We’d probably all be asleep at our desks instead!
In quizzing some of the DeLaune writers on their particular writing habits and quirks, I found an overreaching theme: we just gather information and sit down at our computers and write.
Perhaps because at an ad agency we’re on billable time and conscious of not wasting our clients’ dollars, we are a productive bunch of wordsmiths. We just write.
And that might be the interesting point here. We don’t have the luxury of creating the perfect environment with alcohol and specific writing conditions such as lying down or getting undressed to prompt the muses. Our job is to be productive and write compelling and engaging copy for our clients. So, we just write.
by Amy Valentine