Toni Morrison, writer
The last American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Morrison is a working girl’s genius. While the canonically great men of the ages had servants and wives to support them because they were too busy staggering under the weight of their own brilliance, Toni Morrison had to get it done all on her own.
According to Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Morrison used to write in the evenings, but in the '90s switched to mornings. She rises around 5am, makes coffee, and pauses to “watch the light come.” She explains, “Writers all devise ways to approach that place where they expect to make contact, where they become the conduit, or where they engage in this mysterious process. For me, the light is the signal in the transaction. It’s not being in the light. It’s being there before it arrives.”