finding a creative habit

It feels like I haven't posted in ages. The last 4 posts were either weekly challenges or my latest project so I feel like I haven't really written anything. I have been busy with family stuff but I've also been creating. I try to sneak in at least an hour of creative time each day. I either edit my Mad Tea Party photos, work on another collage or make items for a future surprise.

Which brings me to a book I picked up at the library today while waiting for my car to get an oil change.

A few weeks ago Miel from Miel et Lait recommended the book The Creative Habit by the great dancer Twyla Tharp. Thanks Miel! I started reading the first few pages and already I'm truly inspired. Although Twyla's background is obviously in the world of dance her philosophy can be applied to anyone searching for creative expression.

Twyla suggests that finding that well of creativity comes from developing rituals and routines. Daily repetition that signals your brain to enter into that creative zone. In her case it's a daily cab ride to her gym. It's not the workout at the gym but the cab ride that signals her commitment to the routine. It's the routine that gets her ready for the dance floor where she continues to hone her craft daily.

She uses Mozart as an example. Stating that while he was no doubt phenomenally gifted the fact that he was born to a creative musical family and was around music from day one contributed equally to his succes. Everyone talks about how brilliant Mozart was but never how fiercely focused he was about the practice of creating. He just kept creating. Not all his creations were masterpieces but out of that fierceness came the ones that became the masterpiece.  The point being that his musical genius came from intense hard work paired with being in the right environment. Not necessarily the divine gift the world assumes he was born with.

In fact Twyla's point is that there's no such thing as being 'born' with it. You might have an inclination for certain things, usually something already in your environment. Artistic kids probably have 1 or both artistic or creative parents. But having the inclination doesn't guarantee aptitude without the passion to work very hard at it.

Twyla Tharp's philosophy is to make a habit of creating. Make it part of your routine to sharpen your skills. Whatever your form of expression happens to be. This leads me to begin seeing creativity from a whole new perspective. Rather than creating only when inspiration strikes I'm embracing the idea of creating as part of a daily habit.

In a way I already do this. I'm always playing with Photoshop or sprucing up my creative space or simply daydreaming when I get a few quite moments. Since I'm inspired to create my collages right now I want to make a habit of working on some aspect of it everyday. Whether it's choosing the papers and colors, doodling an outline or actually painting.

Giving myself creative challenges like the paper dresses and weekly collages along with the projects in the Kelley Rae Roberts book are part of the routine too. It gives me a plan to follow on my creative path.

*  *  *  *  *
Of course inspiration  comes easily when one of these arrives in the mail. Here as promised are pics of the package I received from Leanne at From Chaos Comes Happiness. Remember I won the drawing for her 200th post giveaway!

You can see here that Leanne is one creative and thoughtful lady! I love how she labeled each item to go with the message she wrote on the outside of the envelope. And aren't the Get Out of Crankville cards just brilliant! What a wonderful sweet surprise to go along with my movie. Leanne you have definitely inspired me to bloom, create, smile, remember and of course share!

*  *  *  *  *

What the heck. Just for fun I took a cupcake quiz!
Is this my longest post ever?

You Are a Lemon Cupcake

You are spirited and spunky. You embrace life and have a sunny outlook. You're drawn to all sorts of people. You can find something to like about almost anyone. You are like a cupcake because you're cute and happy. You can turn anyone's day around. You love to laugh and have a wickedly funny sense of humor. You enjoy teasing and joking around.

What Flavor Cupcake Are You?


Leanne said...

This post makes me SMILE in SO MANY ways (and, not only because you said I was CREATIVE! Although, that was super!) Love the synopsis of the book and it has me very interested ... and the CUPCAKE - FABU! It seems like a PERfect description!

So glad to know you! And here's to a creative day!

Karen said...


Interesting book. I didn't think there was a connection between routine and creativity! Also I took the cupcake quiz and I am a chocolate one!

Karen said...

Actually now that I think about it the book would make total sense.


anna @ frosted petunias said...

Karen it does seem odd to think of routine and creativity together but the way she puts it makes sense surprisingly. You know I was a chocolate cupcake when I took that quiz months ago. I don't know what happened!

Hi Leanne! Hope you're feeling better.

Miel Abeille said...


I had a feeling that you would enjoy the book. She is an amazing author and the book just gets better. Glad I could share it with you.