Daily Rituals and Artful Living

I am lucky to work with a team of driven, dedicated and goal oriented people at Eraserhead Press. A typical “day at the office” is known to frequently involve

a meeting at the brew pub,

a video game competition,

or hanging out with Klingons

We work together in the office and we work separately at home. We work when we go out for drinks or to parties. We work while watching movies and while eating brunch. There is no difference between work and play. We are focused on our goals and are constantly exploring new paths towards obtaining them. The group energy is invigorating. The collective creativity that is at the heart of the Bizarro movement is inspiring and motivating. This group of story tellers is shaping a reality of their own design. A world that supports free-thinking, imagination, and individuality. We believe that there are more people out there that think like we do and we seek to connect to them through the fiction we create.

I just came across this site:
How writers artist and other interesting people organize their day

It has tidbits from all sorts of interesting writers about their daily habits. C.S. Lewis and W.H. Auden’s habits were my favorite to read about. I found C.S. Lewis fascinatingly fussy, pragmatic and sociable and W.H. Auden’s routine was manipulated with speed and barbiturates. I think it would be interesting to ask about the daily habits of many of the creative people that I work with. I know that I am always examining and tweeking my own routine.

In my opinion, the way to be truly happy about your productivity as an artist is to be able to incorporate your art into your lifestyle in such a way that life becomes art. Living an artful life, the creator is always at work. Art is a beautiful and enjoyable process. Some people think creating things is hard. It is easy, it is natural and it is done constantly every day. It’s only the matter of directing your creativity that is difficult to master. That is where habits are helpful and how routine can help tone the creative muscles.

But the flip side of it is the fantasy about what a writer’s life is like. I often encounter in new writers the obsessive quality of ritualizing the writing process. The feeling that in order to be a true writer they must go out to a cabin in the woods or that a bottle of wine and candlelight will inspire a great opus. I think the article on the daily routines of writers I mentioned provides some perfect examples to perpetuate that fantasy. Also any movie or book you ever read about authors will always glamorize this aspect of their process. I believe that there is a certain power to ritual, but there are also times when it can become cumbersome to the creative process. Without flexibility there can be no growth. And if you are not growing, you are stagnating. It’s never good to get too locked in to thinking that in order to be creative you must be in the perfect environment, or it has to be at a certain time of day, or that you need certain substances to get the juices flowing. All of these things might aid you, but they are not where creativity comes from, nor does the creative process rely upon them.

If you are reading this, I’d like to hear what you think. What are your requirements for creativity and how are they related to your routine?