Daily Rituals

Ok. I’m not claiming that the author is a Lutheran, but I heard about a neat little book that might interest you writers (and artists, musicians, etc) out there: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

It was super interesting. Very easy to read, too, since it’s basically just snippets of a page or two about daily habits. You know, when famous folk get up, whether they drink coffee, etc. 

I do not have as many daily rituals as I’d like. Or, well, maybe I do in that I’m often fighting against the same things over and over again in the hopes that I get more productive or better in some way! Ha!

Still, you might find this an encouraging little book to read. There aren’t lessons or moralizing. Application and interpretations are left to the reader, but at the same time you can’t miss that different people just function in different ways in various circumstances. Which means you aren’t automatically wrong!

(Yeah. Maybe this demonstrates how I think. Still)

I will summarize a few things for your consideration, however:

  • Richard Strauss (1864-1949) compared composing to a cow giving milk. Somehow I really resonate with that!
  • Many of the people in that book considered three hours of work a full day. Sometimes even 15 good minutes. How’s that for expectations and results from daily rituals!
  • Beware mental breaks that become 45-minutes of wasted time, not even refreshing. At the same time, allow satisfaction after you’ve written for a good chunk.
  • It’s fine to stop writing before you’ve “drained the entire reservoir.” It’s ok to stop when there is still someplace obvious to go. In fact, you can point to it in your writing so that when you reread, you’ll see the direction, and jump back to a place where you know you want to go.
  • Writing time is not brooding time. Allow for brooding time, but don’t squander your specific opportunity to work on it.

Anyway, I liked it. 🙂 Haven’t quite finished it all, but it was available through my library’s Overdrive so perhaps I can get it again sometime. Just as a refresher on other writers and artists. 

If you have daily rituals, good for you! If you’re still looking or forming them, I will still very much wish you time to read, write, and develop away at whatever the good Lord has in store for you.


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