Video Book Review: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

I've been reading a ton of great books lately, and this summer I'll share what I've gleaned from the creativity books I love to consume.

This week's video review: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.

One line review summary: Read this book for entertainment, not for how-to advice.

I'm giving away a copy of this adorable and entertaining book. Simply tell us about a daily ritual that you do that helps you be more creatively satisfied.

Leave a comment here at the Original Impulse blog by Friday, June 21st at noon MT to be entered into a drawing to win.


  1. says

    One if the rituals for me to settle into my studio when working is to play my iPod on shuffle. Shuffle means I don’t get immersed in the music on an album instead of what I’m working on. Having the iPod on helps to drown out external noise and let me concentrate on task at hand. I use Baroque music when designing because most of it has no lyrics. I learned this was a ritual when I found it hard to settle into work because I DIDN’T put the iPod on. I listen to a wide variety of genres and most of my CDs have been purchased from musicians I know or have bought at their concerts. It’s like creating with friends.

  2. says

    Every morning I go on FB and do my blessing of the day. Puts me on the right track. Tweet a few tweets and chance to reciprocate to my audience. Then I go on the treadmill or exercise for an hour. I need to do this daily.

  3. says

    Every morning, I do three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing a la Julia Cameron’s Artists Way “Morning Pages”, coupled with running “To-Do” list. It helps me clear my mind, and the running to-do list helps me capture things i need to do so I don’t waste mental energy trying to remember everything. I also enjoy checking things off the list. I forget how much I accomplish, and when I review the list I realize that I really am moving forward and accomplishing a lot.

  4. says

    My ritual is in the evening. Before I climb in bed I pull out my yoga mat for some stretching & breathing. It really helps me relax my mind & body. I also wrap up my day by writing & doodling in my calendar-journal once I climb in bed. Thanks Cynthia – sounds like a fun book. I like the idea of using the stories as fodder for party conversation…hee hee.

  5. Amie Lout says

    I have been on several life coaching blogs today, and what I am looking for are some thoughts on a few ides of self improvement. This book looks to give me a few of those, so I’ll have to get my hands on it! I was also wondering if anyone has heard of Mae Chinn Songer’s blog and her concept of retraining your brain to create new habits and beliefs that will work in bettering yourself? Her blog I have found extrememly helpful, so any thoughts on it would be appreciated. Thanks again for this review, this is what I was after today!

  6. says

    I love hearing about your daily rituals. Such variety!

    I like hearing about the habits of regular people as much as the habits of geniuses. Tell me more!

  7. says

    One thing I’ve always done to focus me at the beginning of the day, no matter whether I was working in an office, at home with kids, working from home, kids at college, doing non-creative work for others or creative for myself, is to clear my desk. I would always work till I dropped and leave or head into the kitchen to supervise homework/make dinner. Some people clean up at the end of the day. I need to do it at the beginning. I set up a to do list. On and off since I discovered Julia Cameron 15+ years ago, I do morning pages to start. I find I’ve added more and more rituals. The more your time is your own, the more you have to put a structure around it.

  8. says

    Hi Cynthia,
    Thanks for the great review. I definitely would like to read this book now. I appreciate your thoughts on not using it as a “how to” guide. I know that sometimes I find myself comparing myself to great artists. Why defeat yourself before you’ve even given yourself a chance to learn your craft? I’m not a beginner artist but far from an accomplished one. Comparing myself to others will not help me improve or find my own voice.

    The daily ritual for me is sitting down groggily with a cup of coffee on my couch. I have a large sketchbook and cigar boxes full of markers, pens, pencils and Watersoluble crayons. I keep them in a large chest next to the couch. I just doodle and sketch whatever I like. It’s not serious or complicated. Just a primer to get me interested in maybe expanding on it later. I also scribble notes and “to-Do” lists here. This makes my morning special and fun and feeling good that I got some time to enjoy my creativity.

    • says

      I love this, Denise! It sounds very much like my new ritual, time hanging out on the couch with my notebooks and colors. It’s great to have a reflective and playful practice to help warm up to the day!

  9. says

    I enjoy reading about creative daily rituals and appreciate your advice to take the book as entertainment. My morning ritual is coffee and morning pages … I’ve journaled in the morning for years … works for me. In the past, I’ve lit a candle and asked for the muse to join me (or something like that) prior to embarking on an art project. I’d forgotten about that …

    • says

      I like that, Jan! I love writing in the morning, though I don’t do it every single day. Thanks for sharing the sacred part of it with us!

  10. Bonnie says

    Thanks for the great review. I love reading about other writers’ rituals although, as you said, they don’t relate to my own writing schedule most of the time. I try to let them inspire me and if not that, then entertain me.

    I am doing pretty well now with writing every single morning when I get to my office. Part of my ritual doesn’t seem to have much value for writing but I love including the weather conditions and temperature at the top of each entry. I really do go back and look at that info more than at previous journal entries.

  11. says

    Okay, it’s Monday morning and the winner of the book Daily Rituals is….


    Thanks for commenting, Denise! Please email me (you can use the contact form on this site) your postal address so I can send your book to you asap.

    Thanks to everyone else for commenting! Watch for more video book reviews and giveaways coming soon!

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