Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp

I've heard that creative people are crazy-- eccentric. I've heard that they get carried away with their projects, are tortured artists and in the end they mess up their lives.

Maybe I read too much fiction.

I'm not sure what to do with that assumption about the person whose livelihood comes from their creativity, not now that I've read Twyla Tharp's book "The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life." 

I saw a bit of that strangeness in Twyla through her book and at times it caught me quite off-guard. On the other hand, I was inspired. Don't worry- I most likely wont take the 'tortured artist' route in life. However, I was reminded at length that creativity doesn't just happen, you have to work with it.

Most of Twyla's examples had to do with ballet, since that's her career, but she often made connections for other types of Creatives. For myself, I was reading for ideas on writing, drawing and painting.

What did I come away with? In the case of writing, I was reminded, at length, that a book won't write itself. And it's much, much more than typing words into a document and sending your first thoughts away to a publisher. It's not all fun and games, but having a love for writing sure helps. I'ts like Hemingway said, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

Essentially, Twyla Tharp convinces her reader that if they want to be creative, they have to make it a habit. With the bait established, then, you can tap into the ideas when you want or need them.

I mentioned being inspired. Let me explain: I've tried getting up earlier to do writing exercises and such. I was even using some of the examples and suggestions Twyla Tharp's book is peppered with.

Creative habits are harder than they sound.

And I still haven't gotten around to filling more pages in my writers journal.

But I'm going to keep trying.

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