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Put a Word on Paper

By Karen Ocampo

The habits of writers are a mystery to their regular readers: What did they eat? How did they get inspired? How did they spend their leisure time? Did they sleep?

Today we will take the inspirational habits of different world literary personalities to form the perfect day to write.

Get the pen ready…

Considering the morning habits of Haruki Murakami or Sylvia Plath, we propose to wake up at 4am, yes, that’s right! The Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore author explains that his best way to write a novel is waking up early in the morning and working for 4-5 hours. So pick your favorite spot. It’s even better if it is next to a window so you can appreciate the sunrise and hot air balloons floating slowly through the skies at times.

Exercise or go for a walk

“As I run I tell myself to think of a river. And clouds. But essentially I’m not thinking of a thing. All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence.”- Haruki Murakami

And like Hemingway, fix an end time and go to exercise the body. Murakami runs and Hemingway used to swim. Visit the hot springs to swim at El Escondido. There are open-air pools and others are covered. You can get inspired by water lilies of various colors that abound in this landscape. You can run the nice corridors of Juarez Park in the morning, when the air is fresh and acquires a nostalgic, dreamy atmosphere.

Phillip Roth explains that he works standing up, pacing around as he thinks. He claims to walk for a half mile for every page he writes. Just for wandering, there are several options. You can see them all at the Tierra Adentro en San Miguel de Allende website.


Returning from the walk, you can enjoy your home or studio’s comfort like Truman Capote, who claimed to be a “completely horizontal author.” He used to say he could write lying in bed or on a sofa with a cigar and coffee. The coffee could be replaced by tea, the tea replaced by sherry, sherry by a martini, and so on until the day wore.

If you want to resupply with a couple of cigars, pass by Casa del Habano. And we recommend good coffee at Café Zenteno; this black beverage is known for its great body and flavor.

And end up with fine liquor. “I need an hour alone before dinner, with a drink, to go over what I’ve done that day. I can’t do it late in the afternoon because I’m too close to it. Also, the drink helps. It removes me from the pages.”- Joan Didion

Globo San Miguel, 415 152- 2981,,
Parque Juárez, Calle Hermanos Aldama
Escondido Place, Carretera San Miguel-Dolores km. 10 , 415 185-2022, 8am-5:30pm
Tierra Adentro en San Miguel de Allende, 120 0783,,
La Casa del Habano, Cuna de Allende 7, 415 122-2763, 10am-8pm
Café Zenteno, Hernández Macías 14,  415 150-0135,

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