Daily Rituals : How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration and Get to Work

written by Mason Currey

Picador | ISBN 9781447271475

Paperback – 288 pages


Member’s price: $18.00


Recommended for Christmas 2015 by Lynne:

Louise Bourgeois profited from her nightly insomnia and Gertrude Stein never wrote for more than a half hour a day. The choreographer Twyla Tharp repeats herself and Marina Abramovic remakes her routine for each new performance. The weirdly fascinating working habits of 162 creative producers are detailed here. There are early risers, day jobs, social isolation, regular exercise, pre-noon martinis, Benzedrine, and, in the case of Patricia Highsmith, doughnuts to wash down the vodka.


Anthony Trollope wrote three thousand words every morning before heading off to his job at the Post Office. Toulouse-Lautrec did his best work at night, sometimes even setting up his easel in brothels, and George Gershwin composed at the piano in pyjamas and a bathrobe. Freud worked sixteen hours a day, but Gertrude Stein could never write for more than thirty minutes, and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in gin-fuelled bursts - he believed alcohol was essential to his creative process.

From Marx to Murakami and Beethoven to Bacon, Daily Rituals examines the working routines of more than a hundred and sixty of the greatest philosophers, writers, composers and artists ever to have lived. Filled with fascinating insights on the mechanics of genius and entertaining stories of the personalities behind it, Daily Rituals is irresistibly addictive, and utterly inspiring.