Mason Currey’s book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work gives great insight into the routines of a range of artists, writers, musicians, etc. In the introduction, Currey recounts how he came to putting this book together – while working on deadline for an article for an architecture magazine that he worked for.
“…I started searching the Internet for information about other writers’ working schedules. These were easy to find, and highly entertaining. It occurred to me that someone should collect these anecdotes in one place—hence the Daily Routines blog I launched that very afternoon…Mason Currey, Daily Rituals (pp. 15-16). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition
I recently picked the book up to read, again, because I am struggling to find a routine when it comes to my writing. As a ‘working’ writer, I always have things to get down, from corporate writing for clients, this blog, poetry, essays and columns for other platforms, and possibly, a book.
In between all of this, there is life and work admin to get done.
The struggle has been in compartmentalise my writing work. The common piece of advice when it comes to writing is to set aside an hour or two a day to focus purely on writing. This has worked for friends who have written books while still doing their ‘day job’ but my day job is writing.
I have written about my daily journaling and that part of my daily ritual is running relatively smoothly. It’s the first thing I do every morning, after dealing with the children. It is from there that things get a little wobbly. I have diarised writing for my blog in the afternoons but, often, life gets in the way. I have to take a call. Or run an errand. Or finish something last minute for a client.
I was the proverbial night owl for years, settling into my words during the witching hour, usually from midnight till about four in the morning, when it felt like the whole world was asleep. (Obviously, it wasn’t). Then I had children and the school run became a real part of my life. I still have at least a decade of that left.
So I have picked up Daily Rituals again in the hope that the daily ritual that Pablo Picasso, Ludwig Beethoven, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Karl Marx, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrisson, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, amongst many others, followed.
The hope is that some of that will rub off on me and help me make sense on words to be written in relation to hours available in a day.
What is your daily ritual?