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The daily routines of celebrated creatives from Maya Angelou to Charles Dickens


Ever wondered what the routines of the world's most creative individuals really look like? Is it all late night drinking sessions, sleeping until 11am and long, languorous lunches? Or is it a strict 6am start time with breaks only for a light lunch and a brisk walk? 

Well we have the answer, as a new infographic shows how the most celebrated creatives, such as artists, composers, philosophers and writers, structure an average day. 

Devised by the website Podio, the graph takes its information from Mason Curry's book Daily Ritual's: How Artists Work, and is divided into six distinct areas: sleep, day job, food/leisure, exercise, other and, of course, creative work.

Artist Pablo Picasso would wake up in the morning around 11am. He'd then have lunch with friends until 3pm when he would begin painting. He would do that until 10pm then have supper for an hour or so, until finally painting again until 2.30 in the morning. 

American author and poet Maya Angelou, on the other hand, was a much earlier riser and would get up every morning at 5.30am. She would dress before having coffee with her husband at 6am. She would then make the commute to her hotel room, which she rented as an office, where she would write from 7am until 3pm. She would then shower and have dinner with her husband and also read her work to him. She'd then head to bed around 10pm.

Another celebrated female writer, Mary Flannery O'Connor is also featured, whose day differs massively from Maya's. Hers began at 6am, when she would pray and have coffee for a couple of hours. She then only spent a few hours on her writing a day before she indulged in other activities such as painting and taking care of birds, until going to bed at 9pm. 

Unlike many others on the list, author Charles Dickens was a fan doing regular exercise. He used to rise at 7am, wake up, eat breakfast, and then work in absolute quiet until 2pm. It's at that point the Great Expectations writer would head out for long walks around London. Around 5pm he'd head home and spend time with his family until going to bed at midnight. 

While there are no real consistent patterns in terms of daily routine, two things that are clearly important for creative work are sleep and working on ideas as much as possible. 

Take a look at more famous creatives and their routines below



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