By Mason Currey
Do you have rituals or routines that support (or don’t) your productivity? Regardless of your answers to that question, would you like to have an insight into how other people build their life to support their work and passions?
In either case, this book is a fascinating way to get answers and insights into building your rituals/routines and seeing how other productive people have done exactly that throughout history.
This is a fascinating book with a very simple premise: to describe (in people’s own words whenever possible) how they structure their lives. Each of these descriptions are relatively short (some far less than a page, and all of them are interesting.)
Who is included?
The title suggests artists, and the book covers a wide range of people in “artistic” endeavors, from art, to writing to film and far more. It also covers people still alive (Woody Allen, Maya Angelou and David Lynch as examples) to those long ago gone, (including Ben Franklin, Herman Melville, Mark Twain and Mozart).
I picked up this book in my constant, and more recently focused, search to understand and create routines, rituals and habits to promote my own and others’ productivity. What I found here wasn’t a step by step guide; rather, I found inspiration, insight and ideas across the total set of examples.
While some people have quite quirky rituals that I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to replicate, even those were interesting. And inside of many of the short descriptions were powerful nuggets to consider. Here are a couple of examples:
“Sooner or later the great men turn out to be all alike. They never stop working. They never lose a minute. It is very depressing.” – V. S. Pritchett
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close, painter and photographer
Of Ernest Hemingway . . . he tracked his daily word output on a chart – “so as not to kid myself.”
Overall, I love this book – and if what I have said intrigues you, I hope you will pick up a copy for yourself.