The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

The Creative Habit Learn It and Use It for Life Creativity is not a gift from the gods says Twyla Tharp bestowed by some divine and mystical spark It is the product of preparation and effort and it s within reach of everyone who wants to achieve

  • Title: The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
  • Author: Twyla Tharp
  • ISBN: 9780743235273
  • Page: 414
  • Format: Paperback
  • Creativity is not a gift from the gods, says Twyla Tharp, bestowed by some divine and mystical spark It is the product of preparation and effort, and it s within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative In ThCreativity is not a gift from the gods, says Twyla Tharp, bestowed by some divine and mystical spark It is the product of preparation and effort, and it s within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative In The Creative Habit, Tharp takes the lessons she has learned in her remarkable thirty five year career and shares them with you, whatever creative impulses you follow whether you are a painter, composer, writer, director, choreographer, or, for that matter, a businessperson working on a deal, a chef developing a new dish, a mother wanting her child to see the world anew When Tharp is at a creative dead end, she relies on a lifetime of exercises to help her get out of the rut, and The Creative Habit contains than thirty of them to ease the fears of anyone facing a blank beginning and to open the mind to new possibilities Tharp s exercises are practical and immediately doable for the novice or expert In Where s Your Pencil she reminds us to observe the world and get it down on paper In Coins and Chaos, she provides the simplest of mental games to restore order and peace In Do a Verb, she turns your mind and body into coworkers In Build a Bridge to the Next Day, she shows how to clean your cluttered mind overnight To Tharp, sustained creativity begins with rituals, self knowledge, harnessing your memories, and organizing your materials so no insight is ever lost Along the way she leads you by the hand through the painful first steps of scratching for ideas, finding the spine of your work, and getting out of ruts into productive grooves In her creative realm, optimism rules An empty room, a bare desk, a blank canvas can be energizing, not demoralizing And in this inventive, encouraging book, Twyla Tharp shows us how to take a deep breath and begin

    One thought on “The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life”

    1. Being both an editor and a writer, one of the most difficult things for me is actually getting my day going. I confess that I am a notorious procrastinator, both in my creative and professional life. Part of this is habit, but the other part is not always having an anchor in my day that tells my brain it is time to get to work already, no more excuses, no more fear.Luckily, I have found a way to make my time count. World-renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp, in her book, The Creative Habit: Learn [...]

    2. Best book I've ever read on what being creative actually means - not a book about "lateral thinking" or how to have ideas or some crap like that, but a book by someone who needs to be creative regularly to pay the bills, has done so in her career over decades, and shows you that creativity is about work and discipline, not magic or mysticism. Read this book.

    3. I wasn't an avid fan of Twyla Tharp the choreographer, but her suggestions for creative discipline were inventive and inspiring. She draws from her personal inventory of art knowledge, offering anecdotes and metaphors from literature, classical music, painting, film and dance. I was impressed with her interdisciplinary approach. One of the most valuable tidbits I got was the understanding of what actually makes a habit a habit: for instance, she says she goes to the gym every single morning and [...]

    4. I find it inspiring to read about Twyla Tharp's daily rituals and creative habits. I suppose it belongs to the self improvement genre but it is written by a brilliant choreographer and dancer. I guess I like reading about the weird things people do to trick themselves into working fearlessly.

    5. I started this book some time ago after I received it as a gift. I didn't get very far as it didn’t grab my attention and other books elbowed their way to the front of the line. I, finally, decided to get serious and really start reading it. One of the best things about it so far is that Twyla Tharp describes creativity as a habit. While that sounds much more boring that creativity being a flash of light from God, it is much more comforting for me. I can develop a habit; I can't really wait ar [...]

    6. This is a beautiful book. Kudos to all those who designed it and put up with Twyla Tharp who must have an ego the size of Manhattan. It reads in an "I'm great because." sort of style.

    7. This is likely the best book on creativity you'll read this year. I'm not a dancer (I'm a fiction author), but The Creative Habit addresses all artists and business minds too. This is more than just practical suggestions to stimulate your creative juices and not the same ol' you've read before. Generous with deep perspectives, philosophy, and real life insights. What do you do if you are in a rut with your project or story or music? How can you unleash the energy you need to move ahead? "Muscle [...]

    8. EDIT, 26 APRIL 2014: It is really funny reading this from the perspective of where I am as an artist now versus where I was as an artist in 2010, when I first read this book. (Which you can read below; it is a hoot, if not full of hubris.) Then, I was really frustrated because I took Tharp's advice literally. How ironic to critique a book on creativity when you are not creative enough to imagine the author's advice to work for your own pursuits, eh? There is one exercise in particular that I thi [...]

    9. If this is your second book on creativity, you will know the drill already:-geniuses are made-creativity is hard work -routine is importantBut what makes this worthwile is that everything TT preaches has been lived and tested by her. You can treat this book as some sort of memoir on creativity. Mrs. Tharp shares her excercises, her insecurities, her failures and, most interestingly, her actual creative issues and the path to the truth.If this is your second book on creativity, you might find som [...]

    10. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (2003), Twyla TharpOne of America's greatest choreographers, Twyla Tharp, shares her insight into the creative process in her sophomore venture into authorship. The best part of The Creative Habit is at the end of each chapter where exercises are prescribed to the content of the corresponding chapter. In between you will find stories primarily from Twyla's experience with musicals and other artistic ventures.I tend to prefer straight forward talk [...]

    11. Twyla Tharp holds the secrets to success hard work is the main ingredient. Twyla talks mostly about the hard work she has put into her craft. She also relates information about other famous lives who she admires and were successful due to the amount of work they put into their craft. Twyla writes about Mozart, who everyone thought was born with pure genius. Twyla does not dispel that Mozart was born with talent, but he was worked very hard by his talented father from an extremely early age, and [...]

    12. This isn't a practical manual for developing creative habits. Rather, it's a thoughtful, mostly backward-looking essay that describes how Twyla Tharp stays on top of her creative game as a choreographer. This book would be most on-point for two specific categories of readers: (1) those who are professional choreographers like Twyla Tharp, and/or (2) those who are interested in reading about Twyla Tharp's career highlights. For the rest of us, the book reads more like a memoir than a how-to guide [...]

    13. If there is one book on Creativity that you should read, regardless of whether you’re a filmmaker, a writer, a calligrapher, a dancer, or simply a creative coin collector, it’s Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. While there may be elements of inspiration in art, Tharp argues that what’s more important is the habit of creativity. The habitual work makes it possible to recognize artistic inspiration, and be prepared with the skills to do something with it. Further, you end up finding and ma [...]

    14. Отличная книга об алхимии творчества — о том, как рождается вдохновение, как оттачивать мастерство и выбираться из ям, справляться с сомнениями и придумывать гениальные идеи. Творчество удел не только «художественных» натур. Оно доступно бизнесменам, ищущим новые способ [...]

    15. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected I would.A few things I took away from it:Every creative work has a 'spine', a metaphor or message that holds it together. Not exactly the theme, more like the trace of where the idea came from that kept the project going.I liked her concept (maybe it isn't hers, but it's in the book) of a 'metaphor quotient', one's ability to use and understand metaphors, to explain the world using reference to memories and experiences. Everyone can do it, but some [...]

    16. One of the best books I've ever read. If you're struggling creatively, or even just with life, this book gives you all the tools and tips you'll need to get back on track. Things I've been doing that I felt were spontaneous actually have a name (at least in this book) and now I can actually track the tools used with my success and failures. It's one of those you can't put down, highlight and underline, and go back to again and again.

    17. I just started but I love the pragmatic approach Ms. Tharp has to creativity. She demystifies her process and attempts to make creativity and innovation accessible.I actually stopped reading the book because the style was very expository. Since I did not have the time to treat this like a workbook with exercises I gave up on it. It got dull. She really made her creative process mundane.

    18. Wonderful overview on Thyla's take on creativity. Probablu not worth purchasing, but worth a quick read in the bookstore cafe. Reads easily with good style and structure. The post-chapter exercises reinforce and summarize. Probably better suited to artists than professionals, but still unteresting.

    19. Twyla is a bit of a hard-ass. She thinks people that don't wake at 5:30am and then work out for two hours are lazy. She's definitely of the "will-power is king" school of thought. I certainly didn't envy her her choices in life and did not respond to her manner of writing either.

    20. Unique perspecitve into the creative self through exciting, unusual exercises to practice from a dancer's POV. Easy reading and fun to follow.

    21. 'There's a paradox in the notion that creativity should be a habit. We think of creativity as a way of keeping everything fresh and new, while habit implies routine and repetition. That paradox intrigues me because it occupies the place where creativity and skill rub up against each other.' (p. 9)As a professional choreographer for many, many years, Twyla Tharp's very existence - and well-being - is dependent on her being creative. If her creative juices run dry, she's out of a job. This means s [...]

    22. This has been a rough few weeks in terms of staying focused and optimistic. Not sure why--perhaps it's the abrupt end of a short, rainy summer, and being unsure of what the fall will bring.I turned to a book I've had on my shelf, that I discovered I'd bought at the Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, Co a few years ago (so the bookmark inside indicated) and never read, but now seemed so timely. Twyla Tharp, is, of course, one of the greatest dance choreographers of all time, one of the emblematic "thi [...]

    23. I've always been intrigued to read this book since Merlin Mann championed it over a year ago on 43folders. I'm glad I finally got to it because this book is truly a gem. Unless you skim it passively, there's no way you won't get something out of this book. Tharp insightfully demystifies the creative process, showing that it's mostly a matter of discipline and hard work. She writes about the importance of rituals and routines, or how to prepare to create. To me, this is the key thing in the book [...]

    24. Oh, Twyla. Thank you. Big growth between my first full read of this book almost 10 years ago, and my second time through the book, which I finished yesterday. Reading her sections on preparation, "scratching," and failure were like visiting old friends. This time, I studied intently the early chapter on ritual -- because that's my focus in the new year. Also especially enjoyed the chapters on ruts and grooves ("different sides of the same coin"), experience and naivete, and passion and skill. Th [...]

    25. Read the complete review: hereI started reading The Creative Habit because of Chase Jarvis recommendation. He wrote a blog post where he shared a list of 6 books that "will make you more creative". I chose The Creative Habit to read because the title was already a lesson! And when the title is a lesson, you know the rest of the book will be great!Twyla Tharp, is a great American dance choreographer, that produced more than 130 dances.Inside Creative Habit I learnt a lot about dance and Twyla exp [...]

    26. Loved this book. I picked it up because I am on a "creativity" book binge this year, but this book is not inspiring just because of the creative exercises Tharp includes. Instead, Tharp herself is the inspiration. Her passion for and dedication to her craft bleeds through every page. She is a master of her art because she has devoted her life to it, and her inner drive, disciplined work ethic and determination is more inspiring than any creative exercises. The book does not teach a particular me [...]

    27. In a nutshell what you'll learn in this book is how to form habits and routines that keep you creative. The author is Twyla Tharp, one of America’s greatest dance choreographers, with more than 130 dances produced by her own company. She defines creativity as a product of hard work and preparation. It's a process undertaken every day. To quote her "Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That’s it in a nutshell." The book includes a lot of exercises an [...]

    28. I was expecting this book to be a lot better than it actually was, and I feel that the idea was good, it was just presented in a way that I didn't find at all engaging. I felt that Tharp's ideas were kind of shoved down my throat in a very demeaning way, and I didn't like the way she treated the reader. I read about multitasking while reading the book on the cross trainer at the gym; the part when she says how much she hates seeing people reading while working out. That statement was just one of [...]

    29. What a great book for dancers and creative types. I loved how Tharp weaved the personal in with her advice to readers. She inspired me to check out her choreography online after finishing this and she's so lovely. Some of my favorite quotes and bits are:Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art.Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box.If it's true that who you are now and who you will be five years from now depends on what books you read and which people you meet, than you ne [...]

    30. I started this in the summer (using the Oyster app) and read a chapter or chapter section every day or so. I was really surprised at how universally applicable most of the advice turned out to be. I didn't take advantage of the written exercises, so I'm thinking of picking up a hard copy and going through it again. I particularly appreciated the way she included things like slumps, ruts, mistakes, and even aging as part of the creative life. This was kind of like if The Happiness Project had bee [...]

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