17 September, 2013


Since I am reading a lot of interesting, and useful books for my research on creativity I thought of reviewing them here on SAS-does.  I am re-reading Twyla Tharp's "The Creative Habit" - an extremely inspiring, practical, and beautiful book.

While the full review is still in works here are some of my favourite moments from the first chapter "I walk into a white room".

The blank space can be humbling. But I've faced it my whole professional life. It's my job. It's also my calling. Bottom line: Filling this empty space constitutes my identity

After so many years, I've learned that being creative is a full-time job with its own daily patterns. That's why writers, for example, like to establish routines for themselves. The most productive ones get started early in the morning, when the world is quiet, the phones aren't ringing, and their minds are rested, alert, and not yet polluted by other people's words. They might set a goal for themselves -- write fifteen hundred words, or stay at their desk until noon -- but the real secret is that they do this every day. In other words, they are disciplined. Over time, as the daily routines become second nature, discipline morphs into habit.

If it isn't obvious already, I come down on the side of hard work. That's why this book is called The Creative Habit. Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That's it in a nutshell. 

Destiny, quite often, is a determined parent. Mozart was hardly some naive prodigy who sat down at the keyboard and, with God whispering in his ears, let the music flow from his fingertips. It's a nice image for selling tickets to movies, but whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won't know how to harness the power of that kiss.

No one can give you your subject matter, your creative content; if they could, it would be their creation and not yours. But there's a process that generates creativity -- and you can learn it. And you can make it habitual. 

It takes skill to bring something you've imagined into the world: to use words to create believable lives, to select the colours and textures of paint to represent a haystack at sunset, to combine ingredients to make a flavorful dish. No one is born with that skill. It is developed through exercise, through repetition, through a blend of learning and reflection that's both painstaking and rewarding. And it takes time

The way I figure it, my work habits are applicable to everyone. You'll find that I'm a stickler about preparation. My daily routines are transactional. Everything that happens in my day is a transaction between the external world and my internal world. Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. But without proper preparation, I cannot see it, retain it, and use it. Without the time and effort invested in getting ready to create, you can be hit by the thunderbolt and it'll just leave you stunned. 

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Click HERE to see printable quotes from past weeks.

A year ago: POLAROID DIY
Two years ago: WEEKEND COLOURS

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