Twyla Tharp: The Creative Habit

If you’ve ever been mystified about creativity, or wondered how you could become more creative, this is the book for you — Twyla Tharp does a great job of demystifying it. In her persuasive, down-to-earth writing style Twyla boils it down and explains what it is, and how you can evolve your own creative skills. These two quotes, I think explain her basic premise:

“No one is born with that skill [creativity]. It is developed through exercise, through repetition, through a blend of learning and reflection that’s both painstaking and rewarding.”

“Everything we need to make something out of nothing — tell a story, design a building, hum a melody — already resides within us in our experience, memories, taste, judgment,   critical demeanor, humanity, purpose, and humor.”

She believes, and makes a powerful case to prove that everyone has the raw material necessary to create something; you just need to develop the ability to pull it out of your head. Throughout this inspiring book she lays out the habits, rituals, and processes she uses to do just that. If you’ve every wanted to be more creative; this is the book for you!

Here are more of my favorite quotes from Twyla:

“Creativity is more about taking the facts, fictions, and feelings we store away and finding new ways to connect them.”

“You can’t just dance or paint or write or sculpt. Those are just verbs. You need a tangible idea to get you going. The idea, however minuscule, is what turns the verb into a noun — paint into a painting, sculpt into sculpture, write into writing, dance into a dance.”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, magazine, newspaper, billboard, instruction manual, or cereal box — reading generates ideas, because you’re literally filling your head with ideas and letting your imagination filter them for something useful.”
“…our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable.”
“In its purest form, inexperience erases fear.”

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

By Twyla Tharp with Mark Reiter
2003 by Simon & Schuster; New York, New York.
ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-3526-6