Milton was totally blind for the last twenty years of his life, yet he managed to produce a steady stream of writing, including his magnum opus, the ten-thousand-line epic poem “Paradise Lost,” composed between 1658 and 1664. Milton devoted the morning to solitary contemplation in bed, beginning at 4:00 A.M. (5:00 A.M. in the winter). First he had an aide read to him from the Bible for half an hour. Then Milton was left alone to compose as many lines as his memory could retain. At 7:00, Milton’s aide returned to take dictation—and if the aide happened to be running late, one early biographer noted, Milton “would complain, saying he wanted to be milked.” After dictation, the aide would read to him until lunch was served at noon. Then Milton walked up and down his garden for three or four hours. In the late afternoon and evening he received visitors, ate a light supper, smoked a pipe, and went to bed at about 9:00.
—found in Daily Rituals: How Artists Work