Book Review - The Creative Habit by: Twyla Tharp

You might not think a writer could learn much from a choreographer, but if the choreographer was Twyla Tharp and it was her book, "The Creative Habit" we were talking about, then the writer could learn plenty. At least this writer did.

"The Creative Habit" is to creativity what a Lonely Planet guide is to a traveller. It is a guidebook, a friend on the road and helpful advice from someone who has trod the way before you. Twyla Tharp believes, as I do, that creativity is a language. That even though the final product may differ widely - it may be a painting, a novel or a dance - the process that guides the project from first spark of inspiration to completion is the same.

With interesting insights, great suggestions and unique exercises Tharp guides the reader through the various stages of creative development. From generating ideas, to what to do when these ideas stall, or go wrong, Tharp has been there herself and is brimming with practical tips and advice.

I admit to a passion for dance - my creative life began at the barre not at the desk - but I think there is something here for every creative person, no matter what their discipline. When I began reading "The Creative Habit" I was working on a short story that had ground itself to a halt. Using some of Tharp's exercises got my pen moving again. And that has to be the highest recommendation for a book about creativity.


Sam Snoek-Brown said...

This is fantastic! A good friend of mine started taking art classes a few years ago, first drawing and later painting, and she says her art teacher is the best creative writing teacher she's ever had. I love it when we can cross disciplines and learn from each like this! Thanks for the post.

firstlinefiction said...

You're welcome, Sam! And I completely agree. Since I never know where my next great idea is going to come from I try to stay open to every source of inspiration.