I was attracted to this book because I like to get ideas for how to improve my writing from reading about what others use to feed their creative efforts. I have been an admirer of Twyla Tharp's for a long time, and feel slightly connected to her by having attended the same high school after she graduated and knowing her twin brothers and sister there.
The Creative Habit is a remarkable book on creative activities that anyone involved in dance, music, painting, sculpting, writing or theater will find very relevant. If you have a good imagination, you will also be able to extend the concepts here to other fields that require creativity such as business.
Where most books on creativity focus on helping you get into a brief creative groove, Ms. Tharp's work focuses on having that groove all the time in your life. Her book is informed by not only her own very creative career . . . but also by extensive contact with other creative people and having read about how others have created in the past. I found her to be the best read person on creativity whose writing I have seen.
Some of the issues she addresses include how to get started ("I Walk into a White Room"), preparation processes ("Rituals of Preparation"), your creative perspective ("Your Creative DNA"), drawing on your experiences ("Harness Your Memory"), getting your research and organized ("Before You Can Think out of the Box, You Have to Start with a Box"), finding inspiration when you have none ("Scratching"), taking advantage of the unexpected ("Accidents Will Happen"), having a clear idea of what you are trying to create ("Spine"), becoming competent in the necessary disciplines ("Skill"), dealing with stalls ("Ruts and Grooves"), learning from setbacks ("An 'A' in Failure"), and building on what you have done before to be more creative ("The Long Run"). Each chapter has exercises, many of which were new to me. I found the idea of either moving or thinking about moving to add new dimensions to my understanding of creative problems I am trying to solve now.
I felt tremendously validated to find that most of my writing habits are identical to Ms. Tharp's ones for choreography. I even keep boxes full of material for projects I'm working on.
The material in the book on how she switched from being a choreographer who could dance all of her roles to one who had to use others to dance those roles was especially interesting. Few works on creativity talk about how to shift from doing to enabling others to do as part of your creativity.
I was impressed that she disciplines more hours of her day than I do. That made me realize that I have room to improve in my creative habits . . . and inspired me to want to improve. That was a great gift.
If you want to be more creative in your profession, I strongly urge you to read and apply this book. It will make an enormous difference in the long run!
Thanks you, Ms. Tharp! Please take another bow!!