Inspiration Library: Daily Rituals

by Amy Azzarito

If you’ve been listening to After the Jump, you’ve already heard me proclaim my love for this book. I’ve read it twice and given it as gifts to three different people. Daily Rituals: How Artist Work by Mason Currey looks at the daily work habits and rituals of 161 different writers, artists, composers, in an effort to understand how meaningful creative work is accomplished. I found it inspiring to remind myself that there’s no magical secret to accomplishing your creative work – it’s a lot about just sitting at the desk and plugging away at it. Gertrude Stein said that “If you write a half hour a day it makes a lot of writing year by year. To be sure all day you are waiting to write that half hour a day.” The summaries of the individuals are fairly short – never more than a couple of pages – making this the perfect book to read if you’re frequently interrupted. –Amy




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  • I love the quote by Chuck Close (possibly my favorite artist). His portraits are amazing and obviously involve a lot of hard work!

    Going to look up this book on Amazon now… :)

  • I just read it as well! Super interesting and enjoyable to read, it’s a great suggestion for both those in creative fields and those who aren’t.

  • If you like learning about the creative process, across a variety of disciplines, (art, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, design, etc.), I’d highly recommend checking out Brain Pickings (www.brainpickings.org). They have a free weekly email newsletter, which I look forward to each Sunday. It’s full of similar articles as this book, check it out! It always inspires me to learn how other creative people work.

  • Immediately put this on my wishlist. I remember you mentioning it in one of your podcasts, but I forgot to make a note of it and so promptly forgot to check it out. So glad you posted it!

  • I’m so thankful for books like these! I’m definitely ordering a copy, and you can’t beat the awesome reviews on Amazon. This reminds me of that book “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” by Laura Vanderkam

    Routine, as uncreative, un-entrepreneur-like as it is, is necessary!

  • I recently read The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. Along the same lines and very good. I will have to check this one out as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • I just got it from the library after hearing you recommend it on the podcast. It is super inspiring to me as me and my husband have such different styles juggling day jobs, parenting and our creative work. Great to read all the ways to get art made. makes me relax about my own odd rituals.