I think there’s a real danger in trying to imitate everything successful people do. Sometimes folks who have genius for art have no ability to understand or articulate that genius, and sometimes people who look like geniuses are just lucky. However, I do take a lot of heart in the ability of incredibly successful artists to achieve great things in steady, bite-size increments. Here’s what I find the most heartening, however:
The busier people were less precious–you learn to fit [your creative work] in, and you don’t have these elaborate eccentric rituals if you have children or a day job. Someone like Joseph Heller wrote Catch 22 in the evenings after work. He’d write for two or three hours a night after his job as an advertising executive doing campaigns for magazines. He was not a tortured artist. He found as much joy in his day job as writing Catch 22 at night. “I couldn’t imagine what Americans did at night when they weren’t writing novels,” Heller said. Currey also notes in Daily Rituals that even when Heller quit his day job to write full-time, he still only worked on his novels for two to three hours a day.
Maybe there’s hope for my artistic dreams after all?
Check out the full article for more info on the book Daily Rituals.