The daily routines of 5 famous writers

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

(Scroll down for the Hungarian version - A magyar cikket lejjebb találod)


This topic has always fascinated me. Basically, all routines of famous people, but today I wish to focus on writers.

Is there a magic formula?

Some added spice?

Is it more routine than talent that makes someone such a good writer?


Daily routines have always been helpful, especially for self-employed people or for those, who work from home.


Let’s see how these guys did it, because I’m sure there’s something here that we can all learn from in the end.

Haruki Murakami

He swears on sticking to a routine. Every day, no matter what. He feels, that repetition is the key to it all. Sticking to something until the very end. Until the finished book is there, in your hand.

His formula for writing:

Get up early. Not simply early, but PAINFULLY early.

Write for 5-6 hours.

Do sports. LOTS of sports. Either running or swimming.

Listen to music and read.

Go to bed early.


Ernest Hemingway

His daily routine included the following:

Getting up as early as possible to start writing - he loved, if it was still dark outside.

Writing for 5-6 hours in one go.

Waiting for the next day to come, to start writing again.


Stephen King

OK, so this guy is a book factory packed inside a human. He has written a ton of books.

His routine goes something like this:

Drink water or tea, not so early in the morning.

Half an hour to sit, read the papers, listen to music.

Write 6 pages. Every day. No matter what.

And that’s how he gets so many books done. He doesn’t set the time. Instead, he sets the number of pages to be written.


Charles Dickens

He followed the clock:

Breakfast at 8am.

Work from 9am to 2pm.

Quick lunch and a massive 3 hour walk straight after.

Dinner at 6pm.

Friends and family time, after dinner.

Bedtime at midnight.

He did not care if he had enough ideas to write between 9am and 2pm. Even if he just sat there, collecting his thoughts, he spent that time at his desk.


Kurt Vonnegut

He did push-ups and sit-ups all the time. In between, his routine looked like this:

Work between 5:30 and 8:00.

Then, breakfast at home.

Work again until 10:00.

Go for a walk, take care of errands.

Go swimming.

Go back home, read