The Daily Routines of Great Writers

The website, Daily Routines: How Writers, Artists, and Other Interesting People Organize Their Days, offers descriptions of the nuts-and-bolts of how writers work—their schedules, rituals, mindsets and beliefs. 

There are funny observations, like Truman Capote who claims he is “a completely horizontal author” and James Thurber who never quite knows when he’s not writing: “Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, ‘Dammit, Thurber, stop writing.’”  There are glimpses into their mindsets, like the Flaubert quote William Styron had tacked above his workroom: ”Be regular and orderly in your life, like a good bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”  Themes develop when reading the interviews—like staying in the work on a daily basis to keep in touch with the story, drinking buckets of tea or coffee, and writing in the morning (though many come back to the writing later in the day, and some choose to write at night).

There’s a wide variety of how writers do their thing, and there’s a wide variety of writers at the website—Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Haruki Murakami, Vladamir Nabokov, Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, John Grisham, Gunter Grass, Anthony Trollope, and Toni Morrison. 

There are also writers of others genres, from Benjamin Franklin to Charles Darwin, as well as successful practitioners of other occupations: philosophers, artists, mathematicians, filmmakers. 

Finally, Daily Routines offers links to the articles where the the information about the writer came from.


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