Sitting for more than six hours a day will lead to a premature death
That’s what study
has said, and it’s inspired some people—even one of the tireless scribes at PR Daily
headquarters—to stand while they work.
Standing to write is nothing new. Many famous authors penned their best works while vertical. Here are five of them and their ages when they died (or, in the case of a living writer, his current age).
1. Ernest Hemingway.
The habit of standing to write is one that Hemingway “had from the beginning,” explained George Plimpton in an interview with the author
. “He stands in a pair of his oversized loafers on the worn skin of a lesser kudu—the typewriter and the reading board chest-high opposite him … moving only to shift weight from one foot to another.” Hemingway was 61 when he committed suicide.
2. Vladimir Nabokov.
The Russian author, who wrote books in both his native tongue and in English, not only stood while he worked
, but also did his writing on index cards. Nabokov’s best-known work, Lolita
, is ranked No. 4 in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels
. He lived to age 78.
3. Philip Roth.
Considered one of America’s greatest living authors, Roth stands at a lectern to write
and paces while he thinks, claiming to walk half a mile for every page he writes. Roth is 78.
4. Lewis Carroll.
The author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
and Through the Looking Glass
suffered from numerous maladies, including migraines and epilepsy later in life. He also suffered a knee injury in middle age, which left him stiff and awkward, according to accounts
. Still, he stood to write
. That’s dedication. He was 65 when he died.
5. Thomas Wolfe.
This almost seems like a tall tale (pun intended—you’ll see what I mean). The author of Look Homeward, Angel
was “a very tall fellow,” who wrote standing up in his kitchen, according to Wikipedia
. He reportedly used the top of his refrigerator as his work surface. He died 18 days shy of his 38th birthday.