The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life Paperback – Jan 6 2006
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Perhaps the leading choreographer of her generation, Tharp offers a thesis on creativity that is more complex than its self-help title suggests. To be sure, an array of prescriptions and exercises should do much to help those who feel some pent-up inventiveness to find a system for turning idea into product, whether that be a story, a painting or a song. This free-wheeling interest across various creative forms is one of the main points that sets this book apart and leads to its success. The approach may have been born of the need to reach an audience greater than choreographer hopefuls, and the diversity of examples (from Maurice Sendak to Beethoven on one page) frees the student to develop his or her own patterns and habits, rather than imposing some regimen that works for Tharp. The greatest number of illustrations, however, come from her experiences. As a result, this deeply personal book, while not a memoir, reveals much about her own struggles, goals and achievements. Finally, the book is also a rumination on the nature of creativity itself, exploring themes of process versus product, the influences of inspiration and rigorous study, and much more. It deserves a wide audience among general readers and should not be relegated to the self-help section of bookstores.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School--Tharp shows how and why artists must actively seek and nurture inspiration. The dancer/choreographer draws heavily on her personal experiences to guide readers into cultivating habits that give birth to success. In addition, she recounts the experiences of artists from other disciplines, including painting and cinematography. Vignettes from the lives of people such as Mozart underline the fact that even geniuses work hard to realize the fruits of their labor. A personable tone is carried throughout the book, and within the text is a gold mine of advice. Tharp not only promotes tried-and-true habits, but also encourages readers to dig deep within themselves and come up with their own answers. Most sections conclude with exercises; they are fun and almost seamlessly bring home the author's main points. The black-and-white illustrations and photos are few in number. Students from all manner of creative arts who wish to make their dreams come true would benefit from reading this book.--Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The Creative Habit is a remarkable book on creative activities that anyone involved in dance, music, painting, sculpting, writing or theater will find very relevant. If you have a good imagination, you will also be able to extend the concepts here to other fields that require creativity such as business.
Where most books on creativity focus on helping you get into a brief creative groove, Ms. Tharp's work focuses on having that groove all the time in your life. Her book is informed by not only her own very creative career . . . but also by extensive contact with other creative people and having read about how others have created in the past. I found her to be the best read person on creativity whose writing I have seen.Read more ›
This is a book I will turn to again and again. Simply the best of its kind.
But The Creative Habit is a lot more than entertaining stories and helpful tips. Whether she knows it or not (I'm guessing she does), Tharp is creating a philophy of life here that revolves around the importance of intelligence, work, and moving forward. If putting those words in the same sentence seems nostalgic, don't bet on it. Tharp believes in the future and her book is not simply for artists, but for anyone who believes that the greatest satisfaction in life comes from defining personal truths through reflection, action, and positive change. Like any way of life, Tharp's has its assumptions: that hard work is the foundation of all virtue and that true good is found in the new. The first is conventional wisdom, the second is the confession of a die-hard modernist, someone who knows (in her bones) that innovation is always progress and progress is always good. That's not an easy position to sustain in 2003, but if we're going to make 2004 even remotely better, it's the only one.
When I got back to the book, I enjoyed it immensely. If anyone thought for a moment that creativity is some little light that flips on when it will, they are seriously mistaken. Occasional, random flashes do not support a livelihood. The good news is that, whatever your field, creativity can be cultivated. Someone working hard enough and working the right way really can generate what is needed, on a reliable basis.
The process she describes is grueling. It involves massive amounts of training and effort, every day, for years at a stretch. Like it or not, that's the way it has to be. Scientific creativity requires identical dedication and single-mindedness, as described by Santiago Ramon y Cajal in his 'Advice to a Young Investigator.' The good news is that the training works. The process is the same for a mathematician as for a painter or dancer. It is certain and effective. This doesn't mean that every painter will become a Picasso or that every dancer can be a Tharp. It does mean that a sufficiently dedicated worker can generate new ideas, good ones, predictably.
Maybe, at this point, you can imagine some whiner mewling "I'm dedicated, but that's way too much work and it's boring." Such people have no idea what dedication means. Don't argue with them. It won't do them any good, and it will waste time you could have used productively.
I admit that I never learned to appreciate dance, let alone Tharp's ouvre. I still respect her as an artist and innovator, even though I do not understand her art.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Not much in the way of tools you can use to work on creative habits. Interesting to read about Twyla Tharp's life...but I wouldn't buy it again for anyone.Published 2 months ago by Deb B.
It's everything that I thought it would be and more. I love how open and honest Tharp is about her creative process. Read morePublished 15 months ago by orchid
Brilliant. Even though I can't dance a step I got a world of good out of this book.Published 15 months ago by Benowen
A neat personal reflection on a creative life filled with some great exercises and tipsPublished 16 months ago by Iain Moggach
I first read this book a number of years ago on the recommendation of a local artist who was a mentor and confidante to many artists. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Andrew Raczynski
An Excellent down to earth writer. Offers great advise, support and experienced insight on how to nurture your bursting creative life and self expression.Published on Feb. 8 2014 by Margery Digiandomenico
This could be the book that spawned my own creative project, a series of projects that I have been meaning to do, some for a long time, others will be spawned along the way -- but... Read morePublished on June 11 2013 by TheodoreStreet
Not a big self help book person and this maybe the only one I finished. I found it more about setting yourself up into the position to be creative. Very Good.Published on Jan. 27 2013 by James Robertson