Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey: Book Review And Highlights

The best way to accomplish big things while keeping life balance is by creating rituals. All the greats had some form of a ritual in order to produce work and keep (somewhat) sane. Whether or not realize you it, you have rituals in place now. Some help you and some are probably setting you back.

Daily Rituals is a collection of the world’s best writers, artists, and creators daily habits. It’s “how they create (and avoid creating) their creations.” I keep this book nearby for finding new ideas and as a reminder that I’m not alone in the struggle to make time to create.

Highlights from my notes:daily-rituals-book-review

“A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods.”

“The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”

“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.”

“Inspiration is for amateurs,” Close says. “The rest of us just show up 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”

“[T]he two things, life style and work, have become one. Now if that’s eccentricity, then I’m eccentric.”

“I’ve realized that somebody who’s tired and needs a rest, and goes on working all the same is a fool,”

“I know a person who will poke the fire, set chairs straight, pick dust specks from the floor, arrange his table, snatch up a newspaper, take down any book which catches his eye, trim his nails, waste the morning anyhow, in short, and all without premeditation – simply because the only thing he ought to attend to is the preparation of a noonday lesson in formal logic which he detests. – William James

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