Famous Writers and Sleeping Habits

Brain Pickings had a fantastic post, “Famous Writers’ Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized“, which I had to share (click on the image for a much bigger viewable version):

“Over the years, in my endless fascination with daily routines, I found myself especially intrigued by successful writers’ sleep habits 

…  The end result — a labor of love months in the making — is this magnificent visualization of the correlation between writers’ wake-up times, displayed in clock-like fashion around each portrait, and their literary productivity, depicted as different-colored “auras” for each of the major awards and stack-bars for number of works published, color-coded for genre. The writers are ordered according to a “timeline” of earliest to latest wake-up times, beginning with Balzac’s insomniac 1 A.M. and ending with Bukowski’s bohemian noon.”

It is a really cool visualization, with lots of neat info (Haruki Murakami: 4am, Leo Tolstoy and Virginia Woolf: 9am) and is definitely worth a look. It then got me thinking about writing, productivity and hours of sleep, which is probably a whole other topic for a later date. I’m a big believer of routine and writing, so I can see why the topic of writing and sleep is a popular topic amongst the writerly crowd.


Melville House has a snippet of related information in their blog post: “Writers: Don’t Sleep,” with the somewhat obvious caveat “there’s altogether too much pop-science crap around at the moment that tries to reduce genius to a neuroscientific formula.” Yeah …

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