21 April 2013

"The Creative Habit" read along - will you join me?

Edited to add: I've started a closed Facebook group for this read along. If you are on Facebook and would like to become a member, email me with your name at FibraArtysta@earthlink.net and I'll add you! :)

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. :)

14 comments:

Candy said...

I have the book and I have not read it yet. This may be just what I need to get into it. Candy

Jenny Williams said...

I think this is great and thanks for doing it. I don't have the book will get it this week and join in next Sunday. Now that I'm retired I thought I would have all kinds of time in my studio, but I seem to be finding so may other things that "need to be done". They do, but I know there is time for both. I have to find that balance.

Claire said...

Great idea and very timely. Like you I've read the book a couple of times, and some sections more than that.

I've just started to come out a creative block that started in 2008, I know for me creativity is about putting in the time and being creative is very definitely a habit. See you next Sunday.

Cheryl said...

Count me in!

Nina Marie said...

both my husband and I read this book - love love love it!! I know you all will too!

Joanna said...

I think I'll join you. I recently finished working thru the 12-wk "Artist's Way" with 6 other women. Now that it's over, I miss the inspiration and camaraderie. I already have this book, so I'm ready to join you!

Kathy said...

This sounds like a great idea. I have had this book for years and rummage through it from time to time, but a good thorough reading would be helpful. I have never had much luck with The Artist's Way, though I've started it many times. I like the idea of a FB group as well and will try to join in. I'll send you my email. Thanks for the creative push.

Susan said...

I have read parts of this book over and over also...I LOVE Twyla and her outlook and philosophy...I would love to join in the group and re-read again. What fun.

KAM said...

Sent an e-mail...looking forward to the process with you leading a group!
Kristin

Maggie said...

I love the idea of reading this along with a group. Count me in
Maggie

Sea Air Arts - Deb H said...

I've read it a couple of times and feel like I could benefit from it again. I'm in! Thanks for the opportunity :-)

Linda M said...

One of my favorite books, Now I have an excuse to read it again. Count me in.

Cami Smith said...

Oh I love this book! I need to pull it off my shelf again. Thanks for suggesting it. I was privileged to do a workshop with Twyla Tharp once. Not a workshop for dancers but she had us all up dancing by the end of it. LOVE her spirit! Love your spirit too Lynn!

jordiw said...

I started it, and then lost the thread somehow, but that was before I had really started to try to create a studio habit. Thanks for doing this and see you on Sunday