>"When I was younger," Cheever recalled in 1978, "I used to wake up at eight, work until noon, and then break, hollering with pleasure; then I'd go back to work through to five, get pissed, get laid, go to bed, and do the same thing again the next day."
>Plath's journal, which she kept from age eleven until her suicide at age thirty, records a near-constant struggle to find and stick to a productive writing schedule. "From now on: see if this is possible: set alarm for 7:30 and get up then, tired or not," she wrote in one example, from January 1959. "Rip through breakfast and housecleaning (bed and dishes, mopping or whatever) by 8:30.... Be writing before 9 (nine), that takes the curese off it." But the curse was never off it for long, despite Plath's frequent attempts to carve out a chunk of inviolable writing time each day. Only near the end of her life, living separated from her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, and taking care of their two small children alone, did Plath find a routine that worked for her.
>That would change over the next several years as Cornell worked nights at the kitchen table, sorting and assembling materials for his boxes. It was not easy going. Some nights he felt too fatigued from his day job to concentrate on his art and would sit up reading instead, switching on the oven for warmth. In the mornings, his quarrelsome mother would scold him about the mess he'd left at the kitchen table; without a proper workroom, cornell was forced to store his growing collection of magazine clippings and dime-store baubles out in the garage.
>Shostakovich's comtemporaries do not recall seeing him working, at least not in the traditional sense. The Russian composer was able to conceptualize a new work entirely in his head, and then write it down with extreme rapidity - if uninterrupted, he could average twenty or thirty pages of score a day, making virtually no corrections as he went.
>From 1908 until his death, Proust devoted the whole of his life to the writing of his monumental novel of time and memory, _Remembrance of Things Past_, eventually published in seven volumes, adding up to nearly 1.5 million words.
>As Kafka wrote to Felice Bauer in 1912, "time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers."
>The history of Kant's life is difficult to describe. For he neither had a life nor a history.
>Character, for Kant, is a rationally chosen way of organizing one's life, based on years of varied experience - indeed, he believed that one does not really develop a character until age forty. And at the core of one's character, he thought, were maxims - a handful of essential rules for living that, once formulated, should be followed for the rest of one's life.
>The founder of behavioral psychology treated his daily writing sessions much like a laboratory experiment, conditioning himself to write every morning with a pair of self-reinforcing behaviors: he started and stopped by the buzz of a timer, and he carefully plotted the number of hours he wrote and the words he produced on a graph.
>Since he was busy during the day, Baker, inspired by the example of Frances Trollope, resolved to write in the early mornings. Initially he tried to get up at 3:30 A.M., but "that didn't work too well" so revised it to 4:30.
>"My experience has been that most really serious creative people I know have very, very routine and not particularly glamorous work habits," Adams said in a recent interview. "Because creativity, particularly the kind of work I do - which is writing large-scale pieces, either symphonic music or opera music - is just, it's very labor-intensive. And it's something that you can't do with an assistant. You have to do it all by yourself."
>The famously prolific American writer - Oates has published more than fifty novels, thirty-six collections of short stories, and dozens of volumes of poetry, drama, and essays - generally writes from 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning until 1:00 P.M. Then she eats lunch and allows herself an afternoon break before resuming work from 4:00 P.M. until dinner at around 7:00. Sometimes she will continue writing after dinner, but more often she reads in the evening. Given the number of hours she spends at the desk, Oates has pointed out, her productivity is not really so remarkable. "I write and write and write, and rewrite, and even if I retain only a single page from a full day's work, it is a single page, and these pages add up," she told one interviewer. "As a result I have acquired the reputation over the years of being prolix when in fact I am measured against people who simply don't work as hard or as long."
* 五十部小说 * 三十六部短篇小说合集 * 十几卷诗歌、戏剧和散文
>Indeed, for much of her writing career, Morrison not only worked a day job - as an editor at Random House - but taught university literature courses and raised her two sons as a single parent. "It does seem hectic," she admitted in 1977.
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>But the important thing is that I don't do anything else. I avoid the social life normally associated with publishing. I don't go to the cocktail parties, I don't give or go to dinner parties. I need that time in the evening because I can do a tremendous amount of work then.