Once upon a time a writer who was procrastinating pondered what other writers did to be so productive. His research lead to a blog which lead to the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. It’s a book made up of three paragraph ish segments on how 161 people who greatly contributed to society structured their days. These “artists” are from the fields of literature, music, science, psychology, and what category would describe Jonathan Edwards.
There were interesting themes:
~Most of these people were on very good terms with coffee
~The writers/ composers considered 4 hours of focused work sufficient for the day
~Some people made themselves work, others, the work made them live… and that was all they wanted to do
~Regardless, each knew exactly what their work was… and did only that when working
~Most of these people enjoyed simple pleasures and lived modestly
~Most had VERY small circles of friends and preferred a dinner in with those to a night on the town
Of course reading condensed day bios of mega “successful” people is inspiring… but I found it challenging as well. What’s the one thing I need to create/do?
Donald Millar (the author of Blue Like Jazz) wrote a book with a title that describes it well. “Scary Close.” It’s the tale of how he grew emotionally in relating with people and especially his now wife. It’s a good story as stories go, and it gives the feeling that it’s reason for existence is to encourage people to be closer with the ones that they are in proximity to. A gift expression, if you will.
One of the steps he took to have more connection was hire a team to help with his business. (That is a hard step for we fiercely independent self employed people.) In the figuring out what it was going to look like phase, he came to the realization that his business “had become a fund-raising front for a make shift family.” Isn’t that the place we all want to work at?
But really, most of the story is how knowing someone with very good relational patterns softly impacted him for the better. It gives me a new framework for dating etc. and an appreciation for the people I know.
For those that say he has a way of presenting himself in only the best light… this book is different. I think because he transferred that treatment to his amazing wife.