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Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

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More than 150 inspired—and inspiring—novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians on how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do.

Franz Kafka, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, “time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.”
Kafka is one of 161 minds who describe their daily rituals to get their work done, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks. Thomas Wolfe wrote standing up in the kitchen, the top of the refrigerator as his desk, dreamily fondling his “male configurations”.... Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on Corydrane tablets (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin), ingesting ten times the recommended dose each day ... Descartes liked to linger in bed, his mind wandering in sleep through woods, gardens, and enchanted palaces where he experienced “every pleasure imaginable.”

Here are: Anthony Trollope, who demanded of himself that each morning he write three thousand words (250 words every fifteen minutes for three hours) before going off to his job at the postal service, which he kept for thirty-three years during the writing of more than two dozen books ... Karl Marx ... Woody Allen ... Agatha Christie ... George Balanchine, who did most of his work while ironing ... Leo Tolstoy ... Charles Dickens ... Pablo Picasso ... George Gershwin, who, said his brother Ira, worked for twelve hours a day from late morning to midnight, composing at the piano in pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers....

Here also are the daily rituals of Charles Darwin, Andy Warhol, John Updike, Twyla Tharp, Benjamin Franklin, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, and Igor Stravinsky (he was never able to compose unless he was sure no one could hear him and, when blocked, stood on his head to “clear the brain”).

278 pages, Hardcover

First published April 18, 2013

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About the author

Mason Currey

4 books269 followers
Mason Currey is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles. His first book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, was published by Knopf in 2013 and has been translated into 17 languages. A sequel, Daily Rituals: Women at Work, came out in 2019. He also writes a free newsletter on routines, rituals, and wriggling through a creative life.

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5 stars
4,482 (23%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,900 reviews
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 9 books25 followers
February 13, 2015

Every creative person follows a different path to chase their muse, but at the same time some definite patterns emerge in the lives of these artists. (The people in this book are the sort that are known by just their last name — Proust, Darwin, Picasso, Descartes, Tchaikovsky, Pollock, Faulkner, Twain etc.)

Here are some things that highly creative people gravitate towards:

1. lots of coffee!
2. working hard but, surprisingly often for only a short burst of time. Many writers only work for 3 or 4 hours each morning. (Architects and painters on the other hand tend to work all day.)
3. long walks. lots and lots of very long walks.
4. eating the exact same meal every breakfast, and lunch etc. So you don't have to waste time thinking about it. (It's weird how often this one shows up— Ingmar Bergman, Glen Gould, Patricia Highsmith, Oliver Sacks, David Lynch.)
5. alcohol to unwind . . . or some kind of daily "vigorous exercise" to unwind.
6. avoiding social obligations.
7. naps.
8. habitual reading. often artists will re-read a handful of their favorite authors again and again.
9. indulging in eccentricities. (Beethoven would pour giant pitchers of water over his hands each morning while he bellowed scales.)
10. either being a very early bird or a night owl. It's easier to concentrate when there is no one around to distract you.
11. tobacco
12. avoiding TV.

(p.s. If you liked Daily Rituals you should also check out my book D.I.Y. Magic!
Profile Image for Emma Sea.
2,190 reviews1,078 followers
August 18, 2013
As Daniel noted, this isn't a book you read, as much as sample from time to time.

A few things seemed to be commonalities:

Work every day: don't wait for "inspiration"

The women all had to fit creative work around housework and childcare as well. Ugh, been there.

Avoid alcoholism!

Almost everyone struggles to get up as early as they planned in the morning.

Keep your day job if you are not already making a full-time living from writing - bonus points for utilizing work time and supplies for your own work, where possible. ("A half hour a day makes a lot of writing year by year." Gertrude Stein)

Also if possible, have a lot of sex.

My favorite quote is from Joseph Heller (Catch-22): "I gave up [writing] once and started watching television with my wife. Television drove me back to Catch-22. I couldn't imagine what Americans did at night when they weren't writing novels."
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,442 followers
April 27, 2023
N-am știut că s-a tradus cartea lui Currey. Am răsfoit-o acum cîțiva ani în engleză. M-am uitat și prin traducere. Nu sună rău. Conține o sumă de fișe ce nu urmează nici o ordine. Poate interesa pe cei care caută în viețile somităților amănuntele picante.

Autorul a străbătut autobiografii, biografii și interviuri și a notat declarațiile unor „oameni de geniu” (scriitori, regizori, muzicieni, pictori etc.) cu privire la rutina muncii lor. Doar Villon, Rimbaud și Verlaine nu au avut o rutină. Viața lor a fost dirijată de hazard. Așadar, cam toți am întîlnit în lecturile noastre astfel de informații: oamenii de geniu vorbesc cu mare plăcere despre eroismul și sacrificiul lor la masa de scris, deși nu toți scriu la masa de scris, unii folosesc un pupitru (Balzac, Virginia Woolf, Hemingway, Philip Roth), sau scriu în pat pînă îi ia somnul (Voltaire, Proust, Colette, Capote), sau dictează unui secretar (Seneca, Montaigne, John Milton, Saul Bellow, Eugène Ionesco etc.), sau scriu pur și simplu pe capacul unui frigider (Thomas Wolfe).

Singura diferență dintre noi și Mason Currey e că el a adunat toate aceste obiceiuri într-o carte (foarte haotică) și noi nu.

Uluitoare, în schimb, este diversitatea ritualurilor, a ceremoniilor urmate de „cei mai geniali dintre scriitori” în activitatea lor creativă. Unii scriu ziua și numai ziua (Thomas Mann, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami), alții noaptea (Balzac), unii scriu dezbrăcați la nudul gol (Thomas Wolfe), alții își pun veșminte de ceremonie (Machiavelli), unii beau cafea (50 de cești pe zi, ca Balzac, 2 cești, ca Saul Bellow), alții alcool (Hemingway), în fine, o minoritate se mulțumește cu apa de la robinet. Unii scriu de mînă, alții folosesc mașina de scris încă de la început (Marquez), alții se folosesc de un laptop. Cîte bordeie, atîtea obiceie! E limpede că nici un ritual de felul acesta nu poate trezi geniul acolo unde e absent.

Rezultă după citirea cărții lui Mason Currey că nu există un program obligatoriu pentru toată lumea, poți fi genial în orice condiții. Dar e de mare folos:

1. să ai un program constant: „Rutina e un semn de ambiție”, a afirmat poetul W.H. Auden,
2. să te plimbi mult (ca Dostoievski, Tolstoi, Henry Miller), să alergi cel puțin 10 km pe zi (Haruki Murakami),
3. să suporți singurătatea, să nu te sperii de „coșmarul” scrisului (ca Philip Roth),
4. să ai o mare toleranță la frustrare: cînd scrii Muntele vrăjit, nu poți participa la viața de cafenea,
5. să nu ții seama de dispoziție și chef; Philip Roth: „cînd nu pot dormi, scriu...”,
6. să nu-ți faci idol din inspirație, e o amăgire, o relicvă romantică...

P. S. Am uitat să spun. În titlul original, nu e vorba de genii. El sună așa: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work...
Profile Image for Kelsey.
17 reviews11 followers
September 15, 2013
I love getting a peek into the lives of writers, artists, scientists, etc. to learn of their everyday routines. This book is not one to read straight through. I enjoyed the flexibility of reading bits here & there.
However, I have one major and one minor complaint. The major complaint is: where are the women? It seemed that 80 - 90% of this book was a sausage factory. Very off-putting. Inexcusable.
The minor complaint is one of author interjection. When discussing an aspect of Simone de Beauvoir & Sartre's sexual life, the author calls it "creepy" that they require total honesty with one another should they take on additional lovers. While I disagree with using the word "creepy" here, I mainly take issue with the author passing such judgement. I think such things are better left as "just the facts" with the reader able to come to his or her own conclusion. Speaking of this couple in particular, I was frustrated by reading so much about Sartre in de Beauvoir's section but found little mention of de Beauvoir under Sartre.
I felt this book could have been so much stronger with the inclusion of more women (& frankly, more notable people of color) and more first-person accounts.
Profile Image for Amanda Roper.
14 reviews44 followers
October 12, 2014
I certainly give this book five stars for how interesting it is and the level of research it must have taken to assemble the over 150 different “daily rituals” into one volume.


This book absolutely pissed me off and I haven’t sworn at a book in quite a long time. This book is a freaking sausage fest. There are over 150 creators profiled in this book and only 26 women are represented. What. the. f*ck? There are also very few people of color or from non-American/European countries and nearly everyone in the book is well-off. Thanks for letting me know how hard it is to be a white, privileged, American man and I am so glad you found the time to create.

You will see loads of women on the pages of Daily Rituals. They’re fixing bowls of cornflakes, reading aloud to frustrated authors, editing shit drafts, typing entire novels written on index cards (hello, Mrs. Nabokov), tending children, or simply working to pay the bills. The interesting nature of the entries was marred by the exclusiveness of the artists and creators featured.

Mr. Currey could have saved this book in one of two ways:

My least favorite way would be to talk about it. I just re-read the introduction and he states he, “…tried to provide examples of how a variety of brilliant and successful people have confronted many of the same challenges [finding time to create]“. A simple paragraph recognizing the book was skewed towards men would have gone a long way. He could have talked about class, gender, and race — even briefly — and detailed how it was easier to find privileged or male examples in diaries, letters, and biographies.
The best remedy would have been for Mr. Currey to work a bit harder and find more women, people of color, and working class examples. The stuff is out there if only one would look. I would have especially liked some mothers featured. I know that everyone doesn’t chose to be a mother, but out of the women represented I think less than five mentioned children or household duties.

For inclusiveness I give this book one star meaning the book averages about three stars. In his introduction Currey hopes “that readers will find it [the book] encouraging rather than depressing”. Alas, I left this book depressed at the short-sightedness of the work and angry it was a catalog of the “struggles” wealthy, white men face. Boo, freaking, hoo.
Profile Image for Mohammad Ali Shamekhi.
1,096 reviews242 followers
June 17, 2016

نمره ی واقعی: سه و نیم

برای من کتابی بود خواندنی به دلیل اینکه سرتاسر بیان چگونگی کنار آمدن با خود بود - با ذهنیات و با بدن خود. کتاب، کتاب تجربه بود، تجربه ی آدم های مختلفی که سعی می کردند بین اموری که در دستشان نیست - مثل توان بدنی، وسواس های فکری و ... - و اموری که خواستار آنند جمع کنند. و این کتاب به نظرم باز هم خواندنی تر بود چون نشان می داد که این تجربه یک مواجهه ی شخصی است و نه اصولی عام و بایدهایی همگانی

بعضی بخش ها برایم جالب تر بودند مثلا: تامس وولف، پاتریشیا های اسمیت، مورتون فلدمن، آنتونی ترولوپ، فردریک شوپن، کارل مارکس، زیگموند فروید، کانت، ویلیام جیمز، دیمیتری شاستاکوویچ، ویلیام باتلر ییتس، وودی آلن، دیوید لینچ، ترومن کاپوتی، ، اچ. ال. منکن، فیلیپ لارکین، فرانک لوید رایت، نیکولا تسلا، لوئیز بورژوا، جان میلتون، رنه دکارت، گوته، فریدریش شیلر، چارلز داروین، مارک توآین، گراهام بل، باکمینیستر فولر، پاول اردوش، وبلا کاتر، جیمز تی. فارل، جکسون پولاک، کارسون مک کالرز، جین استفورد، آیزاک آسیموف، ویلیام گاس، مارینا آبراموویچ، و استفن جی. گولد
Profile Image for El.
1,355 reviews502 followers
July 19, 2016
Here's my daily ritual, for those keeping tabs:

My alarm goes off at 5:00 am, at which time I wake just long enough to take my medicine: Benzedrine. Then I "sleep" for another hour, until my alarm goes off at 6:00 am; at this time, I am ready to rock and roll. I spend 25 minutes in the bathroom doing various bathroom acts, and I'm out the door by 6:38 am to walk to my writing studio where my pet sloth, Salvatore, meets me at the door. (This is also where he left me the night before, which makes me question his daily rituals, but that's beside the point.) I drink down another 200 mg of Benzedrine with a few shots of gin that my assistant has left out for me. Once a week I help Salvatore to his poop pole which is a very special and sacred time for us both. From 7:45 am to 4:15 pm I do several more shots, but as the day wears on, I switch to downers to help me sleep. I also stop drinking coffee around this time, but continue to snort sugar as I have found that snorting sugar gives me some pretty wild story ideas. I pick up my pen to start writing, and hours later find myself passed out on the floor with drool in my hair and most likely I've pissed myself. But look! I've written a couple thousand words and have no memory of any of it. This is incredible. Dinner usually consists of Pop-Tarts and a hardboiled egg, washed down with some more gin. I love my routine and wouldn't change it for the world. If I miss one dose of Benzedrine, you'd better look out.

My routine isn't unlike that of a lot of other artists, so I feel I'm in great company. We're all a bit eccentric with strange interests (and pets) and often have drug- or alcohol- (or sex-) dependencies. It's a hard life, man, and you should thank me for taking one for the team so you can go to your 9-to-5 job and be sober all of the time. God, that sounds awesome in comparison. I mean, I am so tired. Or, well, I would be if I wasn't jacked up on so much Benz. My soul is tired..

In all seriousness, this book is a lot of fun. I learned quite a bit about some artists I love, some I hate (but read about them nonetheless because I'm a glutton), and appreciated some of the anecdotes I already knew but never mind hearing again. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the lifestyles of artists will enjoy dipping into this book. It brings these people alive in new and interesting ways. We know so much of their work, but not how their work is created, or under what sort of circumstances. I love reading about stuff like this; I just can't believe it took me this long to pick up a copy.

I was sad that some of my personal favorites didn't make the cut: Edith Wharton, Marc Chagall, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Michael Chabon, Margaret Atwood, Werner Herzog (you crazy bastard, I know you've got rituals!), Stanley Kubrick - where you guys at? Do (Did) you not have daily rituals? Or will you be coming in the sequel, which, I add, I hope will come. This book is based on the author's blog, Daily Routines, so I figure a sequel isn't asking too much. And who knows - maybe my own daily ritual above will find a place in it.

But don't come knocking on my door during the poop pole day of the week. Seriously. And if you do come knocking on another day, you had better have Benzedrine. Hell, I'll settle for anything in pill form. I'm not shy.
Profile Image for HAMiD.
443 reviews
October 10, 2016
چيزي يافتم در اين كتاب كه برايم بسيار باارزش بود. اين است كه بسيار دوستش داشتم و توصيه دارم به خواندنش چرا كه بي گمان هر خواننده اي رمز خودش را در آن خواهد يافت، آنچه را كه مي‌خواهد. رمزگشايي جمله‌هاي ابتدايي كتاب كه از توماس مان است را پس از گذشت يك سوم از آن مي شود خوب درك كرد! مي گويد: چه كسي مي‌تواند به اسرار ذات و صفات نبوغ هنري پي ببرد؟ كيست كه بتواند به دراميختگي فطري و عميق انضباط و بي بند و باري دست يابد كه سنگ بناي اين نبوغ است؟ جدن كه شاهكاره!
و اما نكته ي برجسته اي از دل تمام عادتهاي روزانه ي كساني كه در اين كتاب آمده اند مي شود بيرون كشيد و آن هم اين است كه براي رسيدن به آن چيزي كه دلخواه است بايد پيوسته و با شوق زمان گذاشت، اين مي تواند رمز رسيدن باشد. در زندگي روزمره هم مدام همه تكرار مي كنيم وقت ندارم! اما درست نكته در همين عدم پيوستگي و شوق بايستي باشد.
بازگردان خانم مومني هم يكدست و روان بود اما.
Profile Image for باقر هاشمی.
Author 1 book248 followers
March 22, 2019
چندبار توی کتابفروشی این کتاب رو تورّق کرده بودم اما نخریده بودمش تا اینکه یک روز دکتر درونگرا پیشنهاد کرد این کتاب رو بخونم و از اونجایی که معتقدم در زندگی هیچ چیز تصادفی نیست، گفتم انگار خوندنش واجب شده...
این کتاب، نوشته‌های مبسوط وبلاگی با همین عنوان هست. متنش علمی نیست و بیشتر جنبه‌ی تزریق انرژی داره. درباره‌ی بعضی‌ها خیلی مختصر گفته و درباره‌ی بعضی‌ها یه‌کم مختصر گفته.
کتاب خوبیه. خیلی بهتر از کتابهای زرد موفقیته. بعد از خوندنش یک شَمای کلّی از برنامه‌ی روزانه‌ی هنرمندان بزرگ یا هنرمندانی که فکر می‌کردن بزرگ هستن توی ذهن شکل میگیره. و می‌تونه راهگشا باشه. اما درباره‌ی تفاوت برنامه‌ی روزانه‌ی هنرمندان بزرگ با هنرمندانی که فکر می‌کردن بزرگ هستن، در این کتاب چیزی نگفته... و من نتونستم بفهمم جزو کدوم دسته هستم یا قراره جزو کدوم دسته باشم خخخخ
Profile Image for SeyedMahdi Hosseini.
119 reviews71 followers
June 30, 2017
1- اگر با مطالعه این کتاب به دنبال کشف عادات مفید مشاهیر هستید تا درصورت لزوم به عادتهای خودتان اضافه کنید، در اشتباهید چون احیانا چیزی بیشتر از ساعات بیدار شدن متفاوت در شبانه روز، نوشیدن قهوه، الکل و امثالهم دستگیرتان نمی‌شود.
2- با توجه به نام و تعریفی که از کتاب شنیده بودم در انتخاب آن شک نکردم و چند صفحه ابتدایی را همانند کتابهای دیگر با دقت مطالعه می‌کردم ولی بعد از آنکه متوجه شدم علاقه‌ای به نوع غذا و ساعات نوشتن این افراد ندارم، بقیه کتاب را فقط سریع مرور کردم.
3- همیشه با ستاره‌ای که به کتاب می‌دهیم، نظر شخصی خودمان را اعلام می‌کنیم. یک ستاره دادم چون محتوای آن را برای خودم مفید ندیده و علاقه‌ای به آن نداشتم ولی شاید برای بعضی افراد که به شایعات زندگی سلبریتیها علاقه دارند کتاب خوبی باشد.
4- یکی از نکات مفید آن آشنایی با افراد مختلف بود. البته این افراد عموما مربوط حداقل بیست سال پیش بودند. بیش از 90درصد آنها نیز نویسنده یا موسیقی‌دان بود و به ندرت نقاش، هنرپیشه، مخترع و ... در میانشان پیدا می‌شد.
5- اگر نویسنده یا مترجم در انتهای کتاب با اضافه کردن فصلی، عادات مشترک را به صورت آماری دسته‌بندی می‌کرد بهتر بود.
6- ترجمه خانم مقانلو بسیار خوب، و صفحه‌بندی و چاپ آن توسط انتشارات تندیس با کیفیت بود.

پی نوشت: 2 ستاره اضافه کردم. به این دلیل: هدفم از مطالعه کتاب پیدا کردن راهها و دیدن عادتهای افراد موفق بود ولی با توجه به تنوع عادتها و تفاوتهایشان به این رسیدم که این افراد فقط بهترین عادتهای خود را یافتند. پس بهتر است هر کسی عادتی که برای خودش بهترین است را پیدا کند. به قولی «راههای رسیدن به خدا به تعداد انسانهای روی زمین است» این بود نکته ای که از این کتاب آموختم.
Profile Image for Ruel.
130 reviews15 followers
August 19, 2014
2.5 stars.

A collection of interesting and not-so-interesting anecdotes about famous artists' daily routines. Spawned from his blog about writers' daily routines, Mason Currey has expanded his original into this book to include artists from all mediums, including writers, painters, architects, dancers, choreographers, photographers, and more.

Because these are simply retellings about a person's work habits, the format grows old quickly. One can only read so many "I wake up early and begin writing/painting/creating ..." tales before they start to blend together. Perhaps I'm missing something here or there's something inspirational from learning that some of the most brilliant minds in the world also like to procrastinate or work weird hours?

I wasn't familiar with Currey's original blog, but these anecdotes seem like they'd be perfect for the Internet: they're interesting tidbits about the mundane tasks of the creative process and reading one online during a web-surfing binge would be fine. However, since they're all easily forgettable, they don't work well in the traditional book format.
Profile Image for Iman Vaezi.
26 reviews27 followers
March 16, 2019
عنوان انگلیسی از واژه ریچوال استفاده کرده است که با عادات و آداب فرق دارد، ریچوال به مراسمی گفته می‌شود که طی آن سلسله کارهایی بر اساس دستورالعملی از پیش تعیین شده، برای نیل به هدفی خاص انجام می‌گیرد. هدف خاص در این مورد افزایش خلاقیت و بهره‌وری است و دستورالعمل را خودشان معین می‌کردند (در این مورد توضیحی در کتاب داده نشده است). نویسنده تلاش کرده دریابد که چگونه افراد بزرگ کارهای خلاق انجام می‌دهند، در حالی که زندگی هم می‌کنند؟ دستیابی به چنین توفیقی نیاز به ریچوال دارد.

نویسنده در مقدمه توضیح می‌دهد که دوست داشت نه سخت‌تر بلکه زیرکانه‌تر کار کند، برای همین رفت پی جستجوی برنامه کار دیگر نویسندگان ... به همین ترتیب وبلاگی درست کرد و هروقت در زندگینامه‌ها و پرونده‌ها و غیره به برنامه روزمره شخصی برمی‌خورد، آن را در وبلاگ پست می‌کرد. بعد به فکر افتاد که آنها را به صورت منسجم‌تر به صورت کتابی منتشر کند.

محصول وبلاگش کتابی لذیذ است مشتمل بر رژیم زندگی 161 نابغه خلاق که در حجم درگیرکننده نیم صفحه‌ای، پروفایل رفتاری آنها (نویسنده، آهنگساز، نقاش، معمار و ...) را تشریح می‌کند. البته کتاب یک چیز را کاملا شفاف‌سازی می‌کند: چیزی به اسم "راهی برای خلق کارهای خوب" وجود ندارد، اما آدمهای بزرگ راه خودشان را پیدا و به آن چسبیدند.

پال اردوش، ریاضی‌دان مجاری، می‌گفت: ریاضی‌دان ماشینی است که قهوه را تبدیل به قضیه ریاضی می‌کند." و در واقع مخدری که اغلب آنها در ریچوال‌های خود استعمال می‌کردند کافئین بود. کتاب علاوه بر ریچوال‌های عجیب غریب آنها (چیزی نمی‌گویم تا خودتان بخوانید، واقعا عجیب و خواندنی هستند) به عادت‌های روزانه‌شان هم می‌پردازد. بیشتر آنها عادت‌های روزانه عجیبی داشتند ولی فصل مشترک‌های جالبی هم در بین‌شان پیدا می‌شود:
1. پیاده‌روی‌های طولانی، خیلی زیاد، معمولا بعد از نهار یا اوایل عصر
2. کار در صبح خروس‌خوان یا بوق سگ
3. مصرف بسیار زیاد قهوه و سیگار (جالب است که خیلی‌هایشان از بی‌خوابی رنج می‌بردند)
4. اعتیاد! الکل و انواع مخدرها
5. بی‌توجهی به خوراک؛ جالب این که وعده‌های غذایی مرتب داشتند ولی خوراکی یکسان در هر روز می‌خوردند
6. اگر نقاش‌ها را کنار بگذاریم (آنها عادت داشتند مدت زمان طولانی در طی روز کار کنند) اغلب به صورت فشرده خرکاری می‌کردند. یعنی کل روز شاید سرجمع حدود 4 ساعت فعالیت داشتند.

بهترین نکته کتاب این است که تشویق می‌شوید ریچوال خود را خلق کنید و در حالت بهتر اینکه با علاقه به یکی از آن افراد بزرگ یا رفتارشان و یا حتی نزدیکی خلق و خو به یکی از آنها، برای ساخت ریچوال خود ایده بگیرید.

پ.ن. 1. به طور محسوسی جای خالی افراد غیرغربی احساس می‌شود (به استثنای هاروکی موراکامی)
پ.ن. 2. ترجمه حسن کامشاد که گفتن ندارد؛ عالی
Profile Image for Negin.
629 reviews150 followers
May 3, 2020
I had been looking forward to reading this book for quite some time. It’s been sitting on my shelf for goodness knows how long. I wanted to love it, but I couldn’t. It’s based on a blog, and I have come to believe that generally most blogs do not make for interesting books, at least not for me.

A few years ago, before vacationing in France, I read a ton of books that are set in France. One of these was Monet’s House. I love that book. Not only are the pictures just gorgeous, but the descriptions also. It’s chock-full of interesting tidbits about Monet’s daily life. Those are the parts that interested me the most and that I still remember and think of from time to time.

Unlike the Monet book, I never felt a connection to any of the artists, writers, and composers in this book. I felt that something was lacking. The entries were repetitive and not particularly entertaining or interesting. It all seemed quite superficial and I wanted him to dig deeper. A short biography on each would have been nice, especially when I didn’t even know who some of the artists were in the first place.

What irritated me the most was the lack of organization and structure. It isn’t alphabetical; or even done in a proper layout with say artists in one section, writers in another, and so forth; or even chronological. It’s all over the place.

My takeaway was:
* Everyone is different. Some are larks and some are night-owls. Do what works for you.
* Take at least one long walk every day.
* Eat the same exact thing every day. Boring!
* Smoke as if it’s going out of style.
* Same applies to alcohol and other mind-altering drugs.
* And on and on.

It was an okay compilation, but I think that you’d be better served by visiting the blog.
Profile Image for Intisar Khanani.
Author 16 books2,261 followers
January 13, 2022
Wow. Mostly men, pretty much all white, all Western. I mean, really, "How Privileged White Male Artists who take advantage of the women around them work" would have been another great title. Which - not to wholly blame the author because they're being accurate to what these men were like - but really? You couldn't find women? or POC? Or Artists who aren't Euro-western?

DNF at about 50%, though I did browse through the remaining names in the hopes of finding a few more women or POC.

Edited to add: There is apparently a sequel of mostly women artists! Woohoo! I may or may not check it out, but it's nice to know that the author also saw the need for a bit of a wider net.
Profile Image for Inna Swinton.
Author 1 book23 followers
December 30, 2013
This is a fun book that you can pick up and put down at your leisure and still enjoy a lot. Perfect for reading on the subway! Also - I learned a lot about habits of creative people - both good and bad. Most loved coffee and had hours during which they cannot be disturbed by family members (if they worked from home). Most importantly - you can feel inspired because so many very effective authors wrote for only 2 - yes, that's two hours a day! Yes, they spent other time on business - correspondence, etc. Seems that the prime hours for work are 9-11 in the AM and if you can be persistent, that book will get finished. Plus, there is a People Mag aspect to this, after all, you are getting some fun insights into the lives of celebrities - from Balzac to Hugo to Dickens to Joyce to Plath. There could be more women artists covered, yes, and I personally wish Mason Currey would write an update focusing more on the creative endeavors of modern working mothers who must supervise piano practice in the AM, do school runs, work during the day, and fill out PTA paperwork in the evenings after 9 PM. Not sure even 2 hours are possible on some days! Perhaps Mr. Currey can team up with Sheryl Sandberg :-)
Profile Image for Parastoo.
90 reviews418 followers
March 30, 2016
کتابِ خاصی نبود ولی ترجمه‌اش خیلی تمیز و روان بود. شاید کتاب برای بعضی‌ها نکاتی داشته باشه ولی خب من که استفادهٔ خاصی نکردم از چیزیش. خودخواهیه ولی دلم می‌خواد کتاب‌های حسابی‌تری همچین ترجمهٔ خوبی داشته باشه.
از نشرِ ماهی بعیده که ندونه وقتی پرانتز باز می‌شه بعدش فاصله نداره تا کلمه شروع بشه. توی کل کتاب روی اعصاب بود.
Profile Image for 7jane.
683 reviews268 followers
January 28, 2015
I've always been fascinated by daily rituals/routines people have, just like I like to see what their homes look like, and what's on their bookshelf/ves. This books compiles together routines from authors, artists, artchitects, psychologists, those of math/physics world and perhaps some others. There's much variety between how their spend their days, with some interesting details (at least two do handstands to help their work, one liked to look at cows and one liked to wash hands a lot and sing while doing it). Differences to what they ate and drank, how long did the 'work' time last, if it was easy or hard to do, with precise or very loose daily timetable.

I myself paid attention to the times they (were) said to wake up. A few woke up at noon or later, but most before 11AM. Earliest waking time was 1AM. I counted how many points each waking time got. One time was 'early/before 9AM', which got a lot or marks, but the most counted time was 6AM, then 8AM, then 5AM. It was fun to make notes of this.

But anyway, this book is definitely of interest for those who like reading about daily rituals/routines, especially of the creative/science people. Some of them are pre-20th century, which is also interesting. A pretty quick read, and fun, so recommended.
Profile Image for Eszter.
13 reviews7 followers
July 18, 2017
"Discipline is an ideal for the self. If you have to discipline yourself to achieve art, you discipline yourself"

"There is no one way - there's too much drivel about this subject. You're who you are, not Fitzgerald or Thomas Wolfe. You write by sitting down and writing. There's no particular time or place - you suit yourself, your nature. How one works, assuming he's disciplined, doesn't matter. If he or she is not disciplined, no sympathetic magic will help. The trick is to make time - not steal it - and produce the fiction. If the stories come, you get them written, you're on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way. The real mystery to crack is you."

- Bernard Malamud
Profile Image for Jason.
207 reviews72 followers
January 9, 2017
Neat little book!

It's hard, really, to review this. It's not a novel, more of a collection of information on how different artists (writers, painters, composers, mostly) came to create their work. It's a look into their daily rituals, an examination into what makes them tick.

A few interesting things cropped up. There are threads of similarities in a great many of the artists included in this book:

1. Coffee and alcohol are the fuel of the artistic mind, often both consumed in the same day. (For me personally, coffee is the way to go).
2. They keep opposite sleep schedules to the regular 9-5 man or woman. Often they are awake all night and sleep all day, or else they sleep in short bursts of 3 or 4 hours, are awake extremely early (before dawn), and nap at least once throughout the day.
3. It seems to help to take a walk every day. Something about getting out into the fresh air and submersing yourself in nature stirs the creative juices. (Not to mention it's good exercise).
4. Most of them prefer to be alone, secluded, or literally locked away so as not to be disturbed during creation.

Something I found inspiring and reassuring, as might anyone else who is a wannabe artist who hasn't yet found success, is that a lot of our greatest artistic minds didn't achieve success or recognition until much later in their lives. Note to self, keep on keepin' on!

I'd recommend this as a fun little pocket book. It's great to read in those little moments in your day when you're left stagnant (sitting in the waiting room, riding the bus, etc).
Profile Image for Mobina J.
151 reviews60 followers
October 12, 2016
برای من بسیار انگیزه دهنده بود و با وجود بالا بودن تعداد فصل ها و افراد ، اصلا خسته کننده نبود. داشتن تمرکزی مانند افراد اشاره شده در این کتاب یکی از اهداف سخت من محسوب میشه :) . قسمتی از متن
مهم ترین چیز در آموزش این است که سیستم عصبی مان را متحد خود سازیم نه دشمن خود. هرچه بیشتر بتوانیم جزئیات زندگی روزانه را به فرآیند غیر ارادی و بی دردسر ذهن بسپاریم، نیروهای والای ذهنمان را در انجام کار حقیقی خود آزاد تر کرده ایم. بیچاره ترین آدم کسی است که جز تردید به هیچ چیز عادت نکرده است، کسی که برای گیراندن هر سیگار ،نوشیدن هر فنجان چای ،‌زمان بیدار شدن و به خواب رفتن و برداشتن هر قدم از هر کاری باید از نو تامل کند و تصمیم بگیرد.
Profile Image for Özgür Atmaca.
Author 2 books59 followers
October 3, 2018
Çok sıradan bir hissiyatla elime alıp mutlu ayrıldığım bir kitap oldu.
140'a yakın şair, müzisyen, yazar, bilim insanı ve dansçının eserlerinin üretim arifesinde günlük ritüellerinin yer aldığı kitapta, gerçekten çok çarpıcı ve garip hazırlanmalar yok değil..
Kitaplarını severek okuduğumuz veya müziklerini vazgeçilmezimiz yaptığımız insanların bu eserlerin oluşum sürecinde neler yaşadığı yer yer komik gelirken çoğu zaman da dramıyla sarsabiliyor.
Bu kitaplar çoğu zaman gözardı ettiğimiz, okuma listelerimizde arka sıralara attığımız türden.Fakat insanı, üretime iten , boş zaman! denilen etkinliksiz durumlarında ne gibi inovasyon ortamları oluşturabileceğine dair coşkulu bir ateşleyici görevi de var.
Profile Image for Tuğçe Kozak.
263 reviews240 followers
November 16, 2020
Sevdiğiniz yazarların, sanatçıların nasıl ürettiklerini merak ediyorsanız sizin için çok güzel bir okuma olabilir. Benim için öyle oldu.
Profile Image for Murat Dural.
Author 14 books565 followers
March 19, 2021
Çekindiğim, beğenip beğenmeyeceğimi bilemediğim (Bu türde yazılan genel vasıfsız kitapları düşünerek) bir kitaptı. Bol bol gülümseme ile ve zevkle okudum. Dizayn son derece basit ama yazar zaten ne bunu ne de derleme şeklini inkar etmiyor; müzisyen, ressam, mimar, yazar, şair vb. dünyamızın dönüşüne eşlik eden nice sanatçının günlük ritüellerini, yaratıcılıklarını biledikleri eylemleri çok güzel aktarıyor. Hemen ikinci kitaba geçeceğim. Üretmek isteyen, üreten insanlar için güzel kaynak.
Profile Image for Bethany.
20 reviews810 followers
August 15, 2021
I didn’t plan to read it cover to cover, but here we are. Inspiring and relatable.
Profile Image for Gabril.
765 reviews169 followers
August 14, 2021
Dopo “Rituali quotidiani”, Mason Currey decide di occuparsi soltanto di artiste donne, spaziando dal Settecento ai giorni nostri. Centoquarantatré fra scrittrici, pittrici, attrici, fotografe, cantanti, musiciste…vengono presentate e inserite in tredici diverse sezioni, soddisfacendo abbondantemente il nostro desiderio un po’ voyeuristico di conoscere i dettagli del loro modo di lavorare, ma anche con attenzione alle difficoltà dovute alle incombenze tradizionalmente attribuite al femminile: cura dei figli e della casa (e gestione di mariti spesso ingombranti).
Esemplare il caso di Clara Schumann che, nonostante gli impegni domestici, la cura di otto figli, e il divieto di suonare impostole dal tirannico marito, “tenne almeno centotrentanove concerti in pubblico, testimonianza della sua disciplina e della sua tenacia.”

Naturalmente uno spazio privilegiato è dedicato ai rituali quotidiani e alle dichiarazioni personali che testimoniano le singole e differenti sensibilità.

Nina Simone: “Qualunque cosa fosse quella che succedeva là fuori, sotto quelle luci”, scrisse, “veniva soprattutto da Dio, e io ero solamente un punto sulla linea lungo cui egli avanzava”.
Diane Arbus: “Una fotografia è un segreto che parla di un altro segreto”.
Olivia Butler: “La sua giornata lavorativa consisteva nel “leggere libri, sedermi con lo sguardo fisso, o ascoltare audiolibri, musica o chissà che altro… E poi ad un tratto comincio a scrivere come una furia”.
Elizabeth Bishop: “Quando veniva posseduta dall’idea per una poesia, la portava avanti finché poteva, e poi magari dei frammenti rimanevano in attesa di essere completati per un tempo interminabile”.
Marta Graham: “Danzare, disse, significa permettere alla vita di usarti intensamente”.
Dorothy Parker: “Tutto ciò che non è scrivere è divertimento”.
Grace Pailey: “ L’arte deriva da un costante tormento mentale, dichiarò, da una fissazione”.
Susan Sontag: “Non si è mai abbastanza soli per scrivere. Penso che scrivere sia come stare dentro una mongolfiera, una navicella spaziale, un sottomarino, un armadio, è come andare altrove, dove non c’è gente, per concentrarsi davvero e sentire la tua voce.”
Virginia Woolf, a suo dire torturata dallo scrivere come Flaubert, “per gran parte della sua vita si attenne a una routine che prevedeva il lavoro dalle dieci alle tredici, e teneva un diario in cui registrava la sua produttività e si rimproverava per le giornate in cui non riusciva a tenere il ritmo”.
Jane Campion: “Quando stava cominciando a lavorare alla sceneggiatura di Lezioni di piano, del 1993, Jane trascorse una settimana crogiolandosi nello stato d’animo della storia e nella mentalità della protagonista, a volte arrivando anche alle lacrime”.
Elena Ferrante: “Scrivo quando ne ho voglia. Raccontare mi costa fatica. Ciò che accade ai personaggi accade a me, i loro buoni e cattivi sentimenti mi appartengono. Dev’essere così, altrimenti non scrivo.”
John Didion: “ Un’altra cosa che ho bisogno di fare, quando sono vicina alla conclusione di un libro, è dormirci in camera assieme.”
Sarah Bernhard: “C’era qualcosa che sembrava ardere in lei ma che al tempo stesso non la consumava. Più faceva, più trovava ispirazione”.

E poi ci sono le particolarità e le stranezze di ciascuna.
È il caso di Maria Sol Escobar (Marisol), pittrice e scultrice, celebre per passare ore e ore ai party “in silenzio su una sedia senza muovere un muscolo”; erano eventi a cui partecipava solo per rilassarsi, “perché è alquanto deprimente essere così profonda per tutto il giorno”.

Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) affermò: “Promisi l’anima al diavolo e lui in cambio mi promise che, da quel momento in poi, ogni mia esperienza si sarebbe trasformata in racconto”.

Louisa May Alcott, che scriveva furiosamente, aveva un cuscino che indicava il suo umore (proprio come Jo): “Se il cuscino era messo in verticale, la famiglia era libera di disturbarla. Se era steso, invece, dovevano muoversi con passo leggero ed evitare di interromperla.”

Madame di Deffand, amica e corrispondente di Voltaire, nonché animatrice del celebre salotto parigino “detestava in modo particolare rimanere da sola la sera. Quando finalmente i suoi visitatori tornavano a casa e i domestici si ritiravano, scriveva: “…mi lasciano a me stessa. E non posso essere in mani peggiori.”

Una lettura che soddisfa tutti i curiosi dell’arte, affascinati soprattutto dai modi in cui i processi creativi si manifestano nelle diverse personalità che sono misteriosamente chiamate a incarnarli.

(3,5- il difetto sta nella sovrabbondanza che tende a livellare e confondere).
Profile Image for Kate.
Author 8 books228 followers
December 31, 2013
Like eating peanuts...I kept turning the page for one more entry, then one more, then one more.

It was fun to learn little details about the lives of writers and artists. I've always been a sucker for seeing how others live the moments of their lives.

My favorite lines come from Matisse: "Basically, I enjoy everything; I am never bored."

And William Dean Howells on Mark Twain: "There were few experiences of life, grave or gay, which did not amuse him, even when they wronged him."

And Willa Cather, regarding writing: "If I made a chore of it, my enthusiasm would die. I make it an adventure every day."

What the majority of these pieces have in common is this: Most writers and artists do some of their writing or art-making most every day. And, surprisingly, many prolific ones spend "only" 2-4 hours a day. For many, more than that becomes self-sabotaging because they get burned out and/or lose out on living a well-rounded life.

I'm now inspired to spend 2-4 hours at my desk every day, working on my new book. It's not about forcing myself but, like Cather, making it a daily adventure. I'm choosing this; why not make it joyful?

Profile Image for Michael Meeuwis.
315 reviews1 follower
December 28, 2013
First, the good news: regardless of your writing habits (extreme activity, extreme inactivity, amphetamines), you will find an artist in here whose work habits--or at least purported work habits--agree with you. That "purported" hints at the book's problems, though: in giving a quick and shallow account of many artists, it makes the sort of extraordinary mistake of taking them all at their word. It feels under-researched. Also, you realize that all of these writers are--for the most part--drawing on the same two or three narratives of productivity: the methodical-yet-creative artist, the lazy-but-brilliant artist, and so on forward. I suppose part of my problem with this simply has to do with the nature of the book: it promises to be several hundred bite-sized accounts of how different people work, and so it is. With that being said: why bother?
Profile Image for Leila.
115 reviews204 followers
September 22, 2016
تا یجایی دوست داشتم ولی کم کم که به نویسنده ها و آدم های معروفی که نمیشناختم رسیدم برام تکراری شد و ناجذاب.
ولی خوندن آداب روزانه بزرگای یسری معایب و محاسن داره.
اول اینکه خوندن زندگی روزانه حتی بزرگان اصلا چیز جذابی توش نداره و بدیش اینه که همش یه موضوع تکراری و شاید کم کم به این نتیجه برسی خب به من چه که این هر روز ساعت چند از خواب بیدار میشه؟
یا اینکه چرا هفتاد درصد از بزرگا به یچیزی اعتیاد داشتن؟ الکل؟ قهوه؟ مواد؟
ولی شاید جالبه بدونی شخصیت مورد علاقت چه خصوصیات ریزی داشت و چجوری رو کارش تمرکز میکرد یا اینکه میفهمی آدما چقدر متفاوت عمل میکنن و حتما نباید یه کار بخصوص و شبیه اونا انجام بدی تا اینکه خاص باشی.
ولی خوندن این کتاب دلیل خاصی برای من نیاورد و نداشت و شاید حتی با خوندش بیشتر فهمیدم که من تقلید کردن یا درس گرفتن از هیچکس حتی بزرگان رو دوست ندارم و این کتاب بیشتر برام حالت ارضای کنجکاوی رو داشت.
Profile Image for Silvia ❄️.
160 reviews20 followers
February 2, 2021
Curiosità e piccoli aneddoti su grandi donne e artiste. È una raccolta originale su spaccati di vita quotidiana di molte figure femminili che hanno fatto la storia della letteratura, arte, musica, danza, cinema dal XVII secolo ad oggi. È una lettura diversa dal solito e molto scorrevole, spesso mi sono ritrovata a sorridere per le stranezze descritte o a rattristarmi per le difficoltà che molte di loro hanno dovuto affrontare per farsi spazio nel mondo. Consigliato a chiunque voglia entrare un po’ più in intimità con queste meravigliose donne e conoscere piccoli particolari riguardanti i processi creativi che le hanno portate alla fama.
Profile Image for Anahita Solot.
218 reviews34 followers
May 24, 2021
خیلی کتاب مفیدی بود.
درمورد شخصیت‌های بزرگ دنیای هنر و ادبیات و موسیقی دید جدیدی به من داد.
دونستن روتینشون برام جالب و مفید بود. چیزهایی یاد گرفتم که توی زندگی روزمره‌‌ی خودم هم می‌تونم ازش استفاده کنم.
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