Daily Rituals

Mason Currey


  • he determined that there should be sixty beans per cup, and he often counted them out one by one for a precise dose.
  • annual three-month summer vacations, which they spent in a spa or hotel in the mountains, going on hikes, gathering mushrooms and strawberries, and fishing.
  • “I write when the spirit moves me,” Faulkner said, “and the spirit moves me every day.”
  • “As a result I have acquired the reputation over the years of being prolix when in fact I am measured against people who simply don’t work as hard or as long.”
  • “Inspiration is for amateurs,” Close says. “The rest of us just show up and get to work.”
  • “My experience has been that most really serious creative people I know have very, very routine and not particularly glamorous work habits,”
  • there’s something to just the excitement of coming up with a slightly different routine.
  • And at the core of one’s character, he thought, were maxims—a handful of essential rules for living that, once formulated, should be followed for the rest of one’s life.
  • The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.
  • “Maugham thought that writing, like drinking, was an easy habit to form and a difficult one to break,”
  • and started watching television with my wife. Television drove me back to Catch-22. I couldn’t imagine what Americans did at night when they weren’t writing novels.”
  • “Writing isn’t hard work, it’s a nightmare,” Roth said in 1987.
  • “What a joy to be in my own home!” he wrote to his patroness, Nadezhda von Meck. “What a bliss to know that no one will come to interfere with my work, my reading, my walks.”
  • Before setting about the pleasant task,” his brother noted, “Pyotr Ilich always hastened to get rid of the unpleasant.”
  • there were few experiences of life, grave or gay, which did not amuse him, even when they wronged him.
  • A writer must be hard to live with: when not working he is miserable, and when he is working he is obsessed. Or so it is with me.”
  • I’ve never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think that the pleasures of not writing are so great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. So, I try to be a regular sort of fellow—much like a dentist drilling his teeth every morning—except
  • I am, instead, doing things I very much want to do—but the schedule is there; the schedule that was ground into me; the schedule you would think I would have rebelled against once I had the chance.
  • On the (rare) occasions when I get into a really creative mode, my daily structure is completely ignored, and I write non-stop, sometimes for 36 hours at a time, until the burst of inspiration has completed itself.
  • King writes every day of the year, including his birthday and holidays, and he almost never lets himself quit before he reaches his daily quota of two thousand words.
  • It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.
  • There’s no one way—there’s too much drivel about this subject. You’re who you are, not Fitzgerald or Thomas Wolfe. You write by sitting down and writing. There’s no particular time or place—you suit yourself, your nature. How one works, assuming he’s disciplined, doesn’t matter. If he or she is not disciplined, no sympathetic magic will help. The trick is to make time—not steal it—and produce the fiction. If the stories come, you get them written, you’re on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way. The real mystery to crack is you.

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