It used to be that when I finished big projects, I took time off. I'd turn off the lights in the studio and close the door and let it rest for a few weeks. Getting back started was determined when I felt like it. But as my career progresses, I've developed habits in the studio that revolve around a very disciplined schedule. I've come to love the solitude and the strictness of it.
But I still feel...unbalanced sometimes.
It's the high of a project coming into complete being, sent away and then facing down the blank print table again. I find myself coming back to the best advice I've ever encountered concerning creativity, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.
I've read through this book so many times I've lost count. A couple times completely and other times in sections when I've felt the need to find the ground beneath my feet again. I've given copies as gifts and sometimes I've just carried my copy around for a sort of moral support.
The thing you need to know about Twyla Tharp is that she doesn't mess around. Her belief, and one which I agree with, is that if you show up, consistently, and do the work, you become a better artist. It's about discipline and knowing yourself and wanting to have a set purpose. This is a book about the kind of work that goes into being creative.
She's a dancer but that doesn't matter. The book is general enough that it doesn't matter your medium. While not all of it might apply - there are some parts I still tilt my head at - there is much to be learned from it.
It's become my rock.
So I'm inviting you to do a read along with me. I'm feeling the need to reconnect with it's entirety, I want to re-read the entire book. I'm not going to lecture you on what she says but what I'm proposing is that every Sunday we come here and talk about what we've read the previous week. If you want to get the book and join me, great. If not, my thoughts will still be here if you're interested in hearing them.
If you're joining me, grab the book and read Chapters 1 & 2 and stop on by next Sunday. Happy reading. :)