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Daily Rituals: How Artists Work Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
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“A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“It’s cleansing. If I hadn’t been at work all the time, I would have been a lunatic.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Inspiration is for amateurs,” Close says. “The rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“the great men turn out to be all alike. They never stop working. They never lose a minute. It is very depressing.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“After all,” as he wrote years later, “work is still the best way of escaping from life!”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“When I sit down to write I never brood. I have so many other things to do, with my children and teaching, that I can’t afford it. I brood, thinking of ideas, in the automobile when I’m driving to work or in the subway or when I’m mowing the lawn. By the time I get to the paper something’s there—I can produce.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Life has much uneasiness; that is certain. Always remember that, and it will never surprise you. - James Boswell”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“eggs, vegetables, cheese or fruit, and a cup of cold chocolate. Then”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Miró hated for this routine to be interrupted by social or cultural events. As he told an American journalist, “Merde! I absolutely detest all openings and parties! They’re commercial, political, and everybody talks too much. They get on my tits!”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Descartes believed that idleness was essential to good mental work,”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Descartes believed that idleness was essential to good mental work, and he made sure not to overexert himself.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Auden believed that a life of such military precision was essential to his creativity, a way of taming the muse to his own schedule. “A modern stoic,” he observed, “knows that the surest way to discipline passion is to discipline time: decide what you want or ought to do during the day, then always do it at exactly the same moment every day, and passion will give you no trouble.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work
“But one’s daily routine is also a choice, or a whole series of choices. In the right hands, it can be a finely calibrated mechanism for taking advantage of a range of limited resources: time (the most limited resource of all) as well as willpower, self-discipline, optimism. A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“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.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work
“Coal mining is hard work. This is a nightmare....There's a tremendous uncertainty that's built into the profession, a sustained level of doubt that supports you in some way. A good doctor isn't in a battle with his work; a good writer is locked in a battle with his work. In most professions there's a beginning, middle, and an end. With writing, it's always beginning again. Temperamentally, we need that newness. There is a lot of repetition in the work. In fact, one skill that every writer needs is the ability to sit still in this deeply uneventful business. - Philip Roth”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“We have failed to recognize our great asset: time. A conscientious use of it could make us into something quite amazing. - Friedrich Schiller”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“I simply get up in the morning and go to work, and I read at night. Like Abe Lincoln. - Saul Bellow”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“The Russian-born novelist's writing habits were famously peculiar. Beginning in 1950, he composed first drafts in pencil on ruled index cards, which he stored in long file boxes. Since Nabokov claimed, he pictured an entire novel in complete form before he began writing it, this method allowed him to compose passages out of sequence, in whatever order he pleased...”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“It’s no easy business to be simple.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“to sustain these true moments of insight one has to be highly disciplined, lead a disciplined life,”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“I shall always be depressed,” Beckett concluded, “but what comforts me is the realization that I can now accept this dark side as the commanding side of my personality. In accepting it, I will make it work for me.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“A mathematician,” he liked to say, “is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work
“One can be very fertile without having to work too much. Three hours in the morning. Three hours in the evening. This is my only rule. - Jean-Paul Sartre”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“There was the presence only of essentials. It was an uncluttered kind of life, a simplicity deliberately constructed so that she could do her work.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“If you have to discipline yourself to achieve art, you discipline yourself.”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
“Only the ‘Hitlers of the world’ work at night; no honest artist does.”)”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

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