Turns out great minds don’t think alike. Discover how some of the world’s most original artists, writers and musicians structured their day, based on ‘Daily Rituals’ by Mason Currey. Filter the different categories by toggling on or off, and hover over the colored bars to learn more about the daily routines.
Many famous creative people produced their works while managing a day-job or other family commitments. They found a way of building time for projects into their everyday life, even if this resulted in an unusual or challenging routine.
Taking regular breaks, can result in a keener ability to problem-solve. Recommended activities include reading, meditation and game-playing, along with the odd beer. Eating the right foods helps, particularly Omega 3 fatty acids found in, say, salmon and walnuts.
Turns out great minds don’t think alike. Discover how some of the world’s most original artists, writers and musicians structured their day. Filter the different categories by toggling on or off, and hover over the colored bars to learn more about their routines.
Hailed as a founder of realism, he shook the 19th century literary scene with his unflinching take on Parisian society.
Milton’s poem ‘Paradise Lost’ is an epic in the true sense of the word – originally published as ten books and over ten thousand lines of verse. Writing in the 17th century, during a time of religious upheaval, he passionately defended the right to free speech.
A contemporary Japanese author, Murakami penned works including ‘Norwegian Wood’ and ‘Kafka on the Shore’. His magic realist style has earned him the Franz Kafka Prize, and other awards.
A French Enlightenment writer, outspoken critic of the Catholic Church and defender of free speech, Voltaire applied his witty approach to all sorts of literary forms including novels, poems and essays.
One of the founding fathers of the United States, Franklin earned the title of the ‘first American’. Through his writing and campaigning for colonial unity, he was a defining voice in the shaping of American society.
A German philosopher who continues to have a profound influence on contemporary thought. Among his achievements, he established a firm basis for factual knowledge, paving the way for the scientific method.
Described as a counterculture’s novelist, Vonnegut wrote in a satirical style that embodied the more cynical views of American society. His works like ‘Cat’s Cradle’ are praised for their blending of science fiction with gallows humor.
Poet and author, Angelou represented a strong voice of the Civil Rights movement. Her novel ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ brought her international acclaim for its frank exploration of race and identity.
Auden was an English-born poet who wrote about religion, politics and love. His 400-odd poems ranged enormously in style, from ballads and haikus to obscure modern forms.
A revolutionary in the music world, Beethoven broke with convention to compose highly original works, continuing to write even after losing his hearing.
Known as one of America’s most important fiction writers, O’Connor developed a Southern Gothic style. Her works include ‘The Violent Bear it Away’ which explores themes of violence and spiritual awakening.
A Swiss-French architect who enraged the establishment with his bold modern designs. Famous works include Unité d'Habitation in Marseilles, and Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp.
This French writer brought the world ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’, among other novels. He was one of the few Romanticists to have achieved popularity during his lifetime.
A composer from the age of 5, Mozart worked prolifically throughout his life. He created such masterpieces as ‘Symphony No. 40’ and the opera ‘Don Giovanni’.
In ‘The Origin of the Species’, Darwin established his theory of evolution, along with his place in history as a revolutionary thinker.
Arguably the most famous novelist of the Victorian period, Dickens is known for his vivid characters, as found in novels like ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The Christmas Carol’.
Freud both shocked and intrigued European society with his theories of the human psyche and sexual urges. Writings like ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ are still key texts in academic courses around the world.
A Russian American novelist who wrote the daring ‘Lolita’. The book is among the most controversial yet enduring works of 20th century literature.
This London-born writer was best known for his comedic novels. ‘Lucky Jim’ was his first and most famous.
Mann’s bold use of symbolism and irony made him one of Germany’s most significant 20th century writers. He drew on influences from Nietzsche to Goethe to express the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.
A leading composer of the German Romantic movement, Strauss is most famed for his operas, including the modern, dissonant work ‘Salome’, which produced a highly passionate reaction from the audience who cheered for 38 curtain calls.
Russia’s most famous composer, Tchaikovsky created works throughout his life, including ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. Piano lessons began when he was just 5 years old and prompted a life-long fascination with music.
The author of ‘Metamorphosis’, Prague-born Kafka helped shape the course of modern literature, exploring existential themes of alienation and fear.
Author of the controversial ‘Madame Bovary’, Flaubert was charged with immorality by the government. Luckily, he was acquitted and continued to write his candid portraits of life in French society.
Potentially the most important painter of the 20th century, Picasso’s long career spanned many styles of artwork, including the angular lines of Cubism, for which he is most well-known.
Author of ‘Sophie’s Choice’, Styron was an American novelist considered to be one of the true original writers of his generation. His work often caused controversy for exploring challenging moral themes and morbid subject matter.
“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” Charles Dickens
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Gustave Flaubert
“Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject.” Thomas Mann
“When I am ... completely myself, entirely alone... or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.” Haruki Murakami
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso