04 December 2012

dancing the creative habit

I can't dance a single step. Its not a pretty sight to behold. So why would I pick up a book about creativity written by a modern dancer? Because being creative is being creative no matter what you do.

I love this book:

I love it because the layout is beautiful. The words vary in size and font and color and it feels like a dance somehow.

I love it because she is matter-of-fact. No foo foo. No pretending like being an artist is anything but what it is - hard work. Worth every moment of hard, but still work.

My copy is getting pretty ugly to be honest. I push it around the studio and flip through it until a passage catches my attention. I've read it from cover to cover but I like to pick through it when I'm feeling restless.

I came across this part the other day and it feels fitting for pretty much every new project I've started.  I'm willing to bet it sounds familiar to you too. :)

Quoted from the book:

"The last two - distraction and fears - are the dangerous ones. They're the habitual demons that invade the launch of every project. No one starts a creative endeavor without a certain amount of fear; the key is to learn how to keep free-floating fears from paralyzing you before you've begun. When I feel that sense of dread, I try to make it as specific as possible. Let me tell you my five big fears:

1.  People will laugh at me.
2.  Someone has done it before.
3.  I have nothing to say.
4.  I will upset someone I love.
5.  Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind."

Apparently it doesn't matter how successful you are. We're all wired the same way.

I've been finding myself picking the book up more often over the past couple of weeks. Its comforting somehow and it lets my mind wander, let's it rest on the idea that no matter what the doubts might be, I should still forge ahead.

I should still do the dance. We should all still dance, no matter what.


Terrie Voigt said...


Candy said...

I've loved this book for a long time. Amazing isn't it?

Sea Air Arts - Deb H said...

Thanks so much for mentioning this book. I read it ages ago and you have just made me realize its time to to give it a re-read. I can feel in my gut that it is needed.

Sometimes I think you are tuned into the same Universal channel I am. ;-)

Linda M said...

One of my favorite books, I think it's time to read it again.

Lyric Montgomery Kinard said...

It's been a favorite of mine for a long time - one of the few art/discipline books I own that I've actually read all the way through. More than once.

karen anne said...

An all-time favorite book. Interesting the section you quoted from - I think it swam around in my head for quite a while and is probably responsible, in part, for me starting the daily art quilt practice. Definitely going to take it off the bookshelf for a re-read soon!

sonja said...

love her quote about
art being the best way to run away without leaving home
i posted it on my blog and repeat it often as need. Good stuff!