These findings are no surprise to me. Often, while writing, I’ll pace with a yo-yo. (Still waiting for the study to conclude that yo-yo’s are the key to creativity – get busy Stanford.) But moving around seems to free your brain a little. Perhaps it’s just the increased activity. I don’t know. I was rejected by Stanford.
And even if you don’t get that great breakthrough, you still get your cardio in for the week!
Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman wrote ANNIE HALL while walking around Manhattan. If David and I are working on a script and get stuck we’ll often take a walk just to clear our heads. That’s one of the advantages of having an office on a movie lot – cool places to walk to. We’d stroll through the New York streets and occasionally duck into the Star Trek stage. You get good ideas in outer space. Perhaps Yale should tackle that study.
Other writers I know have unusual methods of working. One prominent writer/showrunner likes to lie on the floor and dictate the script to an assistant while his staff is commanded to sit around him and watch. That would not be my preferred method.
Truman Capote wrote with a pencil in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. That seems so odd to me. Why write in pencil?
John Cheever wrote in his underwear. Do not try this and walking around the neighborhood at the same time.
T.S. Eliot supposedly tinted his face green with powder to look cadaverous when he wrote. Why? I don’t know. But I had that look without powder when I had to sit through CATS.
There’s a writing team of women who have it figured out. One floats on a raft in the pool while the other sits poolside with a computer and cocktail. That's the AbFab writing regimen.
But my favorite is author Charles Bukowski’s method. He said, “You must sleep with many beautiful women, drink beer like water, and lock yourself away until madness looms.”
Does this work? Time to once again turn to science.
ATTENTION STANFORD COEDS: Your help is needed to participate in a clinical behavioral study. Must be beautiful.