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The Creative Habit
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 17 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Twyla Tharp

The Creative Habit

Creativity is a question of habit and having a method

There is no way of knowing when inspiration will strike. So, to promote creativity in both your work and everyday life, the American choreographer Twyla Tharp maintains that we need to learn to rely on rituals. Working methodically every day allows you to be ready when the right idea comes along. The Creative Habit is the product of almost half a century devoted to a career in creativity, and guides the reader through advice to help establish conscious habits, which can be useful in all areas of our lives.

The Creative Habit
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 17 min.

The fear of getting started: a fear that can strike anyone, but one which we need to learn to overcome

An empty room full of mirrors, an immaculate canvas, a blank sheet of paper, or a fresh, new document on the computer can terrify a creative person to the point that it stops them from even starting. For some, the fear can be so strong that it completely blocks all action. In fact, starting a new creative process can generate frustration, but the beginning is the very core of the work of any artist or creator.

Creativity is not only for writers, painters, and choreographers. It is just as important to engineers, salesmen and many other professionals, not to mention the creativity that many of our daily activities require, such as being a parent. That's why it's important to know how to approach new beginnings, and be able to develop a strong sense of discipline through daily practice.

Spending time doing your work every day is the key to establishing a habit that will help you stay productive. The author offers some suggestions which will not only help you get started on your chosen pursuit, but will also help you keep going when things get hard. These suggestions will help stretch your mind, and your very creativity, something like a warm up before exercising.


The key ideas of "The Creative Habit"

The fear of getting started: a fear that can strike anyone, but one which we need to learn to overcome
There is no such thing as genius, but natural gifts and personal talent must be trained
Having a daily starting ritual helps jumpstart the creative process
Fear and distraction: creativity’s worst enemies
Creative DNA, the talent and instinct that distinguishes each individual artist
Muscle memory, and virtual, sensory, institutional, and even distant memories
The “project box” to organise, prepare, and recalibrate work
To get started you need to have a clear idea in mind
Accidents and unforeseen events can also occur during the creative process, and planning should account for them
Backbone and skill: the winning combination to help you express your talent
Admitting you are stuck can help solve the problem
Reassess failure, especially when there is nobody around to witness it
Stopping in the middle of something important is the best way to make sure you pick it back up later
Take-home message
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