Writing Day and Night

BookBaby has pulled together a fascinating infographic (BB’s word) titled “The opposite writing habits of famous authors.”

Some comments:

Night vs. Day

  • J.D. Salinger must have been a late, late night writer because he’s included twice.
  • Robert Frost seemed more of a day writer.
  • Not surprised that James Baldwin, James Joyce, and Allen Ginsberg were night owls.
  • Note that BB spelled Ginsberg’s first name wrong.
  • The morning writers got time slots. Why not the night writers?
  • Interesting that there were far more women in the morning category than on the night side.
  • Surprised that Sylvia Plath, Virginia Wolf, and Ernest Hemingway were morning writers.
  • Not surprised that Edith Wharton and Anthony Trollope were morning writers.


Coffee vs. Tea

  • Slim pickin’s on the coffee/tea divide.
  • Not surprised that Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein were on the java side.
  • Pleased and surprised that John McPhee fell on the tea side.
  • Thrilled that Jane Austen was a tea drinker.


Fast vs. Slow

  • Interesting that no women fall in the fast category – probably because most of them were engaged in other pursuits at the same time.
  • Not surprised that Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Twain fall in the fast category.
  • Amazed that Trollope landed in the fast category, given that he worked full time at the post office.
  • Took it for granted that Charles Dickens was a speedy guy.
  • Fascinated that Dorothy Parker and James Joyce were slowpokes.
  • Never heard of four of the seven slow pokes.

Cats vs. dogs

  • Of course I knew about Papa Hemingway, Twain, and William Burroughs were cat people.
  • Not surprised that Edward Gorey, Truman Capote, and Sylvia Plath also loved cats.
  • Surprised that Woolf, Wharton, and William Faulkner were dog people.

“Lying or Moving?”

  • Think the wording should  be “Recumbent or Moving?” because I thought it referred to not telling the truth.
  • Of course Edith Sitwell and Marcel Proust reclined.
  • Surprised that George Orwell wrote lying down.
  • Not surprised that Woolf stayed in motion.
  • Surprised that Frost wrote on the move.


  • Morning writer
  • Started as a coffee drinker who switched to tea
  • Definitely a cat person
  • Always sat to write but could lie down if needed


  • Morning writer
  • Sipping coffee as I write, though I switch to tea in the afternoon.
  • Definitely a cat person.
  • Could never lie down to write, though I don’t stay on the move but rather stand.

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