The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp:
If you read any of my regular Book Nook postings, you might see that I'm somewhat a creative-book-addict. I've read Daily Rituals, The War of Art, Ignore Everybody and one of my favorite books, Steal Like an Artist. I'll share a secret with you that will hopefully explain why I gravitate towards this kind of book. Probably about 5 years ago, I had a mini-creative-Renaissance. Creative ideas were popping into my brain and I was jotting them down (and executing some of them) as quick as I could. My mind entered a wonderful period of time where everything was inspiring to me, and nothing was out of bounds for my creativity. I hummed along and I created and I loved every minute of it. And then it stopped.
I'm not sure where that creative muse went, but I really want her to come back. So, I've been looking at creativity from all sides, hoping to find some kind of pattern, some solution that really creative artists know, and that some book authors will share.
Lucky for us, Twyla Tharp is a wonderfully creative person and she's approached the subject of creativity with a lot of thought and experience. Her book, The Creative Habit, is so insightful. She shares her many ups and downs in her long and successful career as a choreographer. Her personal stories are all tied in with her lifelong learning of the creative process, and creativity as a whole. Reading the book feels like learning something significant from a mentor.
Whenever I read a book these days, I have a pen and paper nearby to jot down quotes or thoughts. Here are a few great ones:
"Destiny, quite often, is a determined parent." (page 8)
The conversation on zoe vs. bios - how far away do we view the world vs. how close? Are we a wide angle lens photographer or are we a macro photographer, for instance - (topic on page 42)
"I read for growth, firmly believing that what you are today and what you will be in five years depends on two things: the people you meet and the books you read." (page 110)
"When it all comes together, a creative life has the nourishing power we normally associate with food, love and faith." (page 243) - I've seen this quote of hers before, I think in one of the other creativity books listed.
"Even in the worst of times, such habits [doing your creative thing] sustain, protect, and, in the most unlikely way, lift us up." (page 243)
My words can't do this book justice. If you are interested in reading about creativity, then this book is an absolute must. The author has spent a lot of time thinking about creativity, looking at the creative habit in those artists that inspire her, reflecting on her career and her relationship with the creative muse. I don't know if Twyla Tharp can help me find my way back to my own muse, but I can't think of anyone better to lead the way.