Beethoven’s surprisingly simple habit for creative breakthroughs

Photo by Greg Becker

Beethoven went for a vigorous walk after lunch, and he always carried a pencil and a couple of sheets of paper in his pocket, to record chance musical thoughts.

Gustav Mahler followed much the same routine—he would take a three- or four-hour walk after lunch, stopping to jot down ideas in his notebook. Benjamin Britten said that his afternoon walks were “where I plan out what I’m going to write in the next period at my desk.”

Beethoven’s Surprisingly Simple Habit for Creative Breakthroughs.

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