The famed composer Igor Stravinsky would start his day with some exercise before writing one of his powerful symphonies. But that was not the only physical activity that got his writing juices flowing. When writer's block crept in, he would perform a quick headstand that he said: "rests the head and clears the brain."
Many people, yourself included, have probably had their best ideas while taking a shower. Ludwig Van was no different - he spent a lot of time in the tub pacing back and forth letting his mind run free. The only problem was the water did as well, and neighbors and tenants hated him for the splashing.
Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the first famous geniuses to use sleep patterns outside the recommended eight-hour one. Now called the "Uberman sleep cycle," Leonardo had 20-minute naps every four hours. It is actually the most popular type of polyphasic sleep types used by fans.
4. Demosthenes Sucked At First, So He Went Underground...Literally
Demosthenes was ridiculed harshly the first time he made a speech in the ancient streets of Athens, He made a simple, yet drastic choice to fix his approach for future speaking - he built an underground room to study without any interruption. For added "practice," he stuffed his mouth with marbles as well.
Some of your bosses or coworkers might be using standing desks while you ridicule them from your cubicle. Next time, remind yourself that Ernest Hemingway is one of many writers who found ways of ditching the desk and wrote standing up with DIY tools. In his case, he stacked items on the bookcase in his bedroom.
The master of mystery and the macabre wrote many of his work in standard manuscript format — page by page. One time, when the creative spark of one of his short stories overcame him, he made it into a ridiculously long scroll — twenty-two feet in length! He pasted the pages together using wax.
Plenty of creatives like working late at night and writer Thomas Wolfe was no exception. His routine started around midnight, but while he wrote he would "unconsciously fondle his genitals." This is definitely not the kind of hack you can do when writing at your local Starbucks.
Community and Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon created a story writing system that ran in circles. Calling them "embryos," they are a circle divided into eight parts, one for each element of a satisfying story. If an embryo doesn't meet all eight steps, he tosses it out and starts again.
Locked-in Syndrome kept writer Jean-Dominique Bauby away from a pen, typewriter, or even spoken dictation for writing. So when he wanted to write his memoir The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, he did it with the only muscle left - his left eyelid. Blinking his left eye along with the alphabet allowed him to write the book.
You get in trouble for sleeping on the job, but for surrealist artist Salvador Dali that was part of his routine. He believed in using "slumber with a key," where he sat with a heavy key in his hand and let himself doze off until the key fell onto a plate. The sound would wake him up into a dream-like state between sleep and wakefulness - hypnagogia - that was the source for many of Dali's eccentric works.
Victor Hugo was exiled from France by Napoleon III and landed on the Channel Islands. His time there became a very productive one. He wrote Les Miserables while living there. Part of his creative process while away from France involved eating raw eggs and drinking cold coffee every morning.
The queen of crime novels did not have a study or permanent place to work on one of her detective classics until much later in her career. She relied on a trusty portable typewriter that she would just put down on any table she would find. Pretty impressive mobility, considering she would be working on two books at a time for most of her career.
Exercise is a part of many geniuses' routines, but Nikola Tesla, as eccentric as he was, took it to an odd direction. Instead of lifting weights or doing push-ups, he tightly curled and uncurled his toes every night 100 times. This wasn't to get is feet all swole, but as a way to stimulate his brain cells, according to Tesla.
15. Michael Jackson Was A One-Man Instrumental Band
Michael Jackson had no formal composition training so when he wanted to write his songs he couldn't use guitars and keyboards as well as he'd like to. What he used to do was sing each chord, piece by piece, for the studio to work on. There are videos and recordings of MJ's voice singing every single part of songs like the classic "Billie Jean."