I read a book written by a woman I greatly admire entitled “The Creative Habit” and it was nothing short of a validation of my own life. The woman is Twyla Tharp, one of America’s greatest choreographers. In the book she explains that being creative is not an occasional thing … it is not done every once in awhile, no… it’s a habit and a lifestyle.
I feel like am luckier than most. I have a studio that
I can walk into every day and be surrounded by other creatives and the creative tools of books, media and technology. Of course there is tons and tons of inspiration. It’s my creative place … my sanctuary
for allowing that creativity to flow and be recorded,
fine tuned, evaluated, validated and ultimately launched. I am lucky also that I never once dreaded the walk into this studio … it is truly my happy place.
I imagine I identify with this woman because in my young life I was a dancer. Early on I adapted the ritual of routinely taking dance class, a discipline that became a joyful habit. Dancers need to keep their instrument tuned and toned, fit, healthy and working smoothly. For this reason, they go through the ritual of class every day to insure that their bodies are ready for the expressions that will flow from them. To this day I take at least 3 dance classes a week … not that I am a dancer professionally … but it is a habit I adapted early in life and my body loves the feel of it.
In the book, Twyla describes how a great chef spends every morning tending an urban garden that dominates a tiny terrace of his Brooklyn home. Obsessed with the idea of fresh ingredients, this creative environment allows him to think about blending flavors and creating new dishes. She also speaks of a painter friend who cannot accomplish anything in her studio without propulsive music pounding out of huge speakers. Another writer friend cannot work indoors because he feels he will miss something. This writer takes his morning coffee outside to the porch and begins his day in the warm sun of southern California. These are all creative habits.
So each day when I enter my studio and think “What I will create today?”, I know that the discipline of my creative habit … the fact that every day I deliberately and happily move into a space that will ignite inspiration and free creative thinking , insures my ultimate creative success.