One Sunday in 2007 Mason Currey was sitting alone in the office of his employer—an architecture magazine—trying (and failing) to finish an article that was due the next day. Instead of getting down to business, he compulsively tidied his cubicle, made Nespresso shots in the kitchenette, and began searching the Internet for information about other writers’ work schedules. The looming magazine article was “written in a last-minute panic the next morning,” but Currey’s Daily Routines blog, a site compiling the work habits of artists was launched that very afternoon.
Procrastination takes many forms, and apparently, even has its occasional rewards. In an ironic twist for Currey, a project that started as a distraction from writing has been transformed into a new book from Random House, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Using letters, biographies, anecdotes, interviews, and diaries, Currey examines the creative routines of 161 writers, visual artists, choreographers, composers, filmmakers, scientists, and philosophers. Currey’s collection is full of entertaining and revealing anecdotes about everyone from Marina Abramovic, to Erik Satie, to Oliver Sacks and Jane Austen.