Monday, January 30, 2006

The Creative Habit

Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit provides a guided tour of the creative process. She is famous for her choreography, but Tharp is also a stimulating writer. Is she qualified to write on creativity? Listen to these words from her introduction:
I'm a dancer and choreographer. Over the last 35 years, I've created 130 dances and ballets. Some of them are good, some less good (that's an understatement--some were public humiliations). I've worked with dancers in almost every space and environment you can imagine. I've rehearsed in cow pastures. I've rehearsed in hundreds of studios, some luxurious in their austerity and expansiveness, others filthy and gritty, with rodents literally racing around the edges of the room. . . . I've worked with dancers in the opera houses of London, Paris, Stockholm, Sydney, and Berlin. I've run my own company for three decades. I've created and directed a hit show on Broadway. I've worked long enough and produced with sufficient consistency that by now I find not only challenge and trepidation but peace as well as promise in the empty white room. It has become my home."
As you might guess from the book's title, Tharp believes creativity does not just come naturally. Consistently creative people practice disciplined routines. "Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits." Building on stories from her own experience and those of her friends, Tharp offers practical guidance. Each chapter concludes with exercises, and yes, they are creative.

As people made in the image of the Creator God, creativity is part of our calling. It brings richness and dimension to life. It enables us to live expansively in a world of endless possibility.



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