At the beginning of January I decided to choose two words to help guide my year. Why two? Mostly because I couldn’t decide on just one. But since January, I hadn’t really thought much about either word. Until I started reading
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use it For Life
By Twyla Tharp
What are my words? Creativity and Intentional. Creativity is something I need (and well pretty much everyone needs) in their professional and personal lives. By continuing to hone my creativity, I’ll reap great rewards in my personal and professional lives. Intentional is a bit more abstract. I just want to take more time to focus on being intentional with my actions.
Creativity as a habit is a foreign concept to the common portrayal of creatives in TV shows, movies and more. Generally we see a creative person who’s wild and unpredictable. But Tharp presents a different view, one in which the creative person is driven by habit, following an established daily routine and approaching projects in a similar way. This approach was new to me. I’ve often thought that I need to set up a daily routine, so that I can squeeze in time to write and pursue other creative endeavors. I’ve never considered that it would help make me more creative.
No one starts a creative endeavor without a certain amount of fear; the key is to learn how to keep free-floating fears from paralyzing you before you’ve begun. (page 22)
Throughout the book, Tharp presents a lot of great ways to help maximize creativity. For example, to get out of a creative rut, Tharp recommends challenging assumptions by identifying the concept that isn’t working, write down your assumptions about it, challenge those assumptions and act on the challenge.
When creativity has become your habit; when you’ve learned to manage time, resources, expectations, and the demands of others; when you understand the value and place of validation, continuity and purity of purpose–then you’re on the way to an artist’s ultimate goal: the achievement of mastery. (page 240)
Writing 4 out of 5 stars
Tharp’s writing was strong.
Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars
Tharp doesn’t just tell people how to be creative. She shows them by sharing stories about her own creative pursuits–the ups and the downs, successes and failures.
Cultural Impact 4 out of 5 stars
Tharp’s book is commonly mentioned when talking about creatives doing their thing. There’s a reason for that. She has a long history of successful creative pursuits.
TOTAL 4.33 out of 5 stars
Have you read Tharp’s book? What did you think? What’s your favorite book about creativity?