Blog about people's daily routines

Daily Routines is a blog that describes the daily routines of well-known people (mostly writers). I find it fascinating.
John Updike You've said that it was fairly easy to write the Rabbit books. Do you write methodically? Do you have a schedule that you stick to?

Since I've gone to some trouble not to teach, and not to have any other employment, I have no reason not to go to my desk after breakfast and work there until lunch. So I work three or four hours in the morning, and it's not all covering blank paper with beautiful phrases. You begin by answering a letter or two. There's a lot of junk in your life. There's a letter. And most people have junk in their lives but I try to give about three hours to the project at hand and to move it along. There's a danger if you don't move it along steadily that you're going to forget what it's about, so you must keep in touch with it I figure. So once embarked, yes, I do try to stick to a schedule. I've been maintaining this schedule off and on -- well, really since I moved up to Ipswich in '57. It's a long time to be doing one thing. I don't know how to retire. I don't know how to get off the horse, though. I still like to do it. I still love books coming out. I love the smell of glue and the shiny look of the jacket and the type, and to see your own scribbles turned into more or less impeccable type. It's still a great thrill for me, so I will probably persevere a little longer, but I do think maybe the time has come for me to be a little less compulsive, and maybe the book-a-year technique which has been basically the way I've operated.

We've spoken to a number of writers who said they wrote a certain number of pages every day. There's a lot to be said for having a routine you can't run away from.

Right. It saves you from giving up.

Daily Routines (via Kottke)


  1. How informative are the routines of industrial age practitioners when reach a break point like we are in now? The experiences of the past will be less and less meaningful as we go forward. We can look back to these routines as we look back today to 18th century agrarian novels as we attempt to understand farm life before corporate agriculture.

    Listen to the future here:

  2. Most novelists seem to write in the morning for 3 or 4 hours. Daily, consistent, limited sessions rather than occasional binges seem to be the norm for prolific writers.
    Thanks for this post.

  3. DW Rasmus, I love and respect futurism and futurists greatly – my father is one – but I think it’s worth noticing that the folks, mostly writers, who are covered range in time period from the 1700s to contemporary and often have remarkably similar schedules according to temperament, profession, habits (smoking, excercising, napping) and working methods, regardless of whether they’re from colonial New England or modern Japan. Technology transforms the way we work, but only to a certain extent. There are patterns of human psychology that are sufficiently deep-rooted that technology can only bend them a bit, not really break them at all, and I think the way we organize our lives into routines is one of them.

Comments are closed.