Some of these quirks are actually useful/helpful. But some are just plain crazy. I'm going to let my freak flag fly for a few and tell you about some of my quirks.
I'm usually a very good listener and I love talking to people. But sometimes, something a person says will trigger a thought about my WIP and no power in the ' verse can bring me back to Earth. I'm talking a full-scale near-comatose zone-out. This often ends with me running away in the middle of a conversation to scribble my thoughts down before they escape. I know it has to be obnoxious for the people around me, but it's like I'm possessed and I can't stop it.
No Place Like (anything but) Home
I can't write at home. Messiness and disorder bother me so much that it causes actual physical symptoms. When I lived by myself and could control the state of my apartment this wasn't an issue, but now that I have three roommates who don't understand the concept of clean-as-you-go, it's impossible. I can literally feel my blood pressure rising if I sit down in our living or dining room. (I should point out that my roommates aren't that messy. I'm just that crazy.)
When working on a novel, I like to have a trinket or something that reminds me of it. For example, when I was writing Brigid's Cross (my first, now-trunked novel) I ordered a silver Brigid's Cross necklace. I play with my necklace constantly so every time I touched it, it reminded me what I should be doing (WRITING!) instead of what was distracting me (TV!).
I recently told my writers group about this little quirk and my friend Mike brought this to the last meeting for me:
I constantly watch people in public and listen to their conversations. And it's not passive like most people. I consciously take the seat in the mall food court closest to as many people as possible. I write down things I overhear. I stay longer at a place if people near me are interesting. Every time I leave the house I get caught staring at a random stranger.
Yeah, I'm a creeper. But - short of getting arrested - I'm not going to stop my clandestine ways. It's a great way to get story ideas, study speech patterns, pick up new phrasing and so much more!
What writing quirks do you have? Does their usefulness make up for their craziness?