58 Famous Writers And Their Addictions

Writers Write is a resource for writers and this post is about 58 famous writers and their addictions.

Famous Writers and their Addictions – Writers of Substance (Abuse)

The muse has always been a serious subject for writers. Where does the inspiration come from? Some writers have found it in odd rituals and strange substances.

Simply Strange

  1. Friedrich Von Schiller kept rotten apples under the lid of his desk. Before he wrote, he would open it and take a good lungful of air. Apparently the words came more easily afterwards.
  2. Colette could only write after picking fleas from her cats.
  3. T.S. Eliot enjoyed writing when he had a head cold.
  4. Lord Byron needed to have sex to write. He slept with 250 women and men in one year in Venice, and for each conquest, he took a clipping of his partner’s pubic hair and saved it in an envelope neatly marked with his or her name.
  5. Charles Dickens was addicted to visiting the Morgue, and would spend days there.
  6. Truman Capote couldn’t begin or end anything on a Friday.

The Tea Set

  1. Samuel Johnson said ‘[I am] a hardened and shameless tea drinker, who for twenty years diluted his meals with only the infusion of the fascinating plant; who with tea amused the evening, with tea solaced the midnight, and with tea welcomed the morning.’
  2. Henry James enjoyed his tea. ‘There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea,’ he said.
  3. Simone de Beauvoir started her day with tea. She said: ‘I’m always in a hurry to get going, though in general I dislike starting the day. I first have tea and then, at about ten o’clock, I get under way and work until one.’
  4. Fyodor Dostoyevsky loved his tea. He said: ‘I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.’
  5. C.S. Lewis said: ‘You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.’
Posted on: 3rd September 2013

4 thoughts on “58 Famous Writers And Their Addictions”

  1. This is certainly a very strange addiction that I have read.

    Beatriz Fuentes (Mexican Writer)
    Addicted to: Darío Oliviero (Italian Actor)

    As the writer herself wrote in her facebook personal page:

    “My Testimony of Addiction”: She hallucinates along complete days and nights with Daríoly, (as she used to call him) and also reached the degree of accommodating the entity in question, comfortably in her brain. He lived in the depths of her creative imagination, being always present even in the most unexpected moments of the day or night. And while he wandered from the right to the left hemisphere of her brain, with total impunity and without anything or anyone interfering in his walks, she could only write with the tenant’s image tattooed on each letter that she imagined.

    I do not know if she is still addicted to him or not. Or if she knows him or not. She does not speak about that at all. But it seems that was a really strange addiction.

  2. Brendan Behan called himself ‘a drinker with a writing habit’.

    This poem by Malcolm Lowry, says it all:

    The only hope is the next drink.
    If you like, you take a walk.
    No time to stop and think.
    The only hope is the next drink.
    Useless trembling on the brink.
    Worse than useless all this talk.
    The only hope is the next drink.
    If you like, you take a walk.

  3. A few obvious ones have been missed. Algernon Charles Swinburne, Hart Crane and Arthur Rimbaud were all famously alcoholics. So, less famously, was TS Eliot. He became a heavy drinker during the failure of his first marriage, and it probably partly prompted his recuperation in Margate, where he first came up with the idea for The Waste Land. He drank heavily through his second marriage too, where he was basically in a co-dependant relationship; his second wife was hooked on drugs.

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