Twyla Tharp

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life

“I come down on the side of hard work.”

A lifelong ballet choreographer and dancer, Twyla Tharp (b. 1941) gives us an energizing and stabilizing book to motivate the creative habit. Quickly dismissing the question of talent being enough by noting “Nobody worked harder than Mozart.”

The Creative Habit includes exercises and examples from Tharp’s long life producing highly original modern ballet and ballet and contemporary dance cross-overs.

Tharp reverently explains her moment of beginning, every project demands a blank slate and empty canvas. Tharp also emphasizes that everything is usable and relevant. Living is not apart from art, it is art, we should always be gathering ideas, or “scratching.”

Pair this timeless book on work and creativity with Rollo May’s insightful guidance on creativity and fear or read firsthand the discipline it took for John Steinbeck to produce his masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath in mere months (and what this discipline cost him).