the creative habit

February 24, 2009

I imagine Merlin Mann has helped sell quite a few copies of The Creative Habit, but his is one of many recommendations I’ve had for this book. Maybe it’s been recommended to you many times as well. Let me add another to the list.

Twyla Tharp is a career creative who has spent decades choreographing. She knows what it means to face the anxiety of starting with nothing, while expectations loom that she will make something. And that experience is what makes this book both rich and readable. It reads as much like a memoir as it does a how-to text. Tharp shares her habits as they have formed over the years. She reflects on the patterns have developed in her creative process, and offers us the bounty of her experience.

Each chapter presents a significant concept or habit in her process. It is broad enough that you can take it and make it your own, not feeling tied to a rigid set of steps of her choosing. Following each chapter are some suggested exercises to help you shape habits of your own.

There is more that I could say…and I will. (Since I’m already in the middle of at least two series, this might not be the best time to start a third. But I’m going to!) In the weeks to come, I will offer some of my own reflections from the book. Rather than speak to her specific themes and chapters, I’m going to share a few common themes that emerged as I reviewed from my notes and underlines from the whole of the book

But, I also have an invitation (queue the organ). I know a number of you have read this book too; many of you recommended it to me. If you’d like to do a guest post with your own reflections on The Creative Habit, the proverbial floor is yours. Contact me and we can work out the details.

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