This fascinating book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work shares quick 5-10 paragraph stories of the rituals of over 161 creative artists. Writers, choreographers, and painters are included with perhaps a heavy leaning towards writers (just because I guess they write about it.) Today's book review gives teachers who inspire creativity an arsenal of stories of the greats of history.
Who will like Daily Rituals?
While this is NOT necessarily a book for kids (Thomas Wolfe's habits are a bit over the top, but then again, he was Thomas Wolfe.) This is definitely a book for literature teachers and those teaching students creativity.
It is notable that not every artist had a ritual all of the time, but when they produced work, they most certainly did have one. For me, it has challenged me to find and develop my own rituals to help me be more creative. I was struck by how many of the highly creative artists walked. Dickens took a 3 hour walk through the streets or countryside starting promptly at 2pm every day or Tchaikovsky's two hour walks each day when he was often known to scribble down ideas as he walked.
It was also interesting to me how Agatha Christie balanced her home life and writing (flitting in and out of her family life and writing, she seems to have struck the ultimate balance of productivity and writing.)
Of course, many artists had their share of addictions with alcohol and amphetamines being among the top habitual excesses.
My Book Review of Daily Rituals
Overall I found the book fascinating just because I write. This book is an enjoyable read, very fast paced, and sometimes I'm left wanting to know more about some of these artists but that is the intent of the book.
Because the chapters are very short, you can also pick it up and put it down easily, so it would be perfect reading for your break or lunch. I do recommend reading this on ebook because I've already found myself going back and searching the text for stories and ebook searches are faster.
This is one literature, art, dance, and music teachers will want to reference because storytelling is often a powerful underpinning of great teaching. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey is an intriguing book and I read every page. I'm keeping it on my Kindle as a reference book.