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Daily Rituals: How Artists Work Hardcover – Illustrated, April 23, 2013
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- Publisher : Knopf; Illustrated edition (April 23, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 278 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307273601
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307273604
- Item Weight : 13.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.46 x 5.39 x 1.17 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #26,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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1. The people described in this book all work very hard and, frequently, VERY long hours.
2. Regular, extended exercise - usually walking - is frequently an important part of their routines.
3. They're mostly early risers, with significant exceptions, and do their best work in the first several hours of the day. There are a few nightowls but not many.
4. They have a work routine that they adhere to almost fanatically.
5. Finally, implicitly, habits are key in their successes and productivity.
There, I've saved you the price of this book.
The stories about the different artists are frequently interesting on their own account and very useful in fleshing out the "takeaways" listed above. I don't think it's intended as a self-help book. The author doesn't attempt to derive a series of lessons from his subjects' activities but a pattern emerges after reading a lot of these.
A few years ago, before vacationing in France, I read a ton of books that are set in France. One of these was Monet’s House: An Impressionist Interior by Heide Michels. I love that book. Not only are the pictures just gorgeous, but the descriptions also. It’s chock-full of interesting tidbits about Monet’s daily life. Those are the parts that interested me the most and that I still remember and think of from time to time.
Unlike the Monet book, I never felt a connection to any of the artists, writers, and composers in this book. I felt that something was lacking. The entries were repetitive and not particularly entertaining or interesting. It all seemed quite superficial and I wanted him to dig deeper. A short biography on each would have been nice also, especially when I didn’t even know who some of the artists were in the first place.
What irritated me the most was the lack of organization and structure. It isn’t alphabetical; or even done in a proper layout with say artists in one section, writers in another, and so forth; or even chronological. It’s all over the place.
My takeaway was:
* Everyone is different. Some are larks and some are night-owls. Do what works for you.
* Take at least one long walk every day.
* Eat the same exact thing every day. Boring!
* Smoke as if it’s going out of style.
* Same applies to alcohol and other mind-altering drugs.
* And on and on.
It was an okay compilation, but I think that you’d be better served by visiting the blog.
Is your creativity driven by a looming deadline? Do you need four or five cups of Diet Pepsi or tea before you can even think of putting one word on the paper? Does the rest of the world need to be sleeping for you to hit your stride? Do you sometimes type the title of an article on the page just to see words on the page? Okay, well maybe I’m the only one that does those things. If not, join the ranks of many creatives that have rituals or behaviors that get their creative muscles warmed up and ready for the battle of the blank sheet or canvas.
As a creative who grew up with other creatives, Daily Rituals piqued my interest and would hopefully feed my curious nature. Maybe this middle of the night creative could pick up a few tricks of the trade from some of the most successful artists in the world. Perhaps I could gain a little insight into how they became so successful and in some cases are still going strong. If nothing else, it would be fun to take a peek behind the curtain.
And it was. I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, informative, enjoyable read.