Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Practice Makes Permanent"

That's what my highschool gym teacher used to say. He would go on to elaborate: "if you practice poorly, you play poorly and if you constantly practice poorly, you'll constantly play poorly." He explained that how you prepare physically and mentally for a task is more important than the preparation itself. I always thought he was a visionary, exposing his young charges to the ways of the world. That is, until I read The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life is an incredible book that is part self help, part autobiography, and part inspiration. Tharp goes through the nuts and bolts details of what she goes through, step by step, to bring an idea to fruition. It's filled with excercises (mental, emotional and physical) that anyone can do to help enhance their own creativity - things you can do while you're doing the dishes, vacuuming the house, planting flowers in the garden, cutting the grass, sitting in your car in traffic. She assures the reader that anyone can benefit from reading the book. The practical processes she goes through is relevent to everyone's situation. She breaks things down, builds things up, rearranges things, looks at things from different points of view, throws things out and starts with brand new things. Tharp explains how creating choreography is like running a business, a household, a life. It's easy to read, easy to grasp, easy to enjoy: you too can make the creative process a habit!

Tharp assures us that we're all capable of being more creative than we are right now. All we need is more practice. Well, more good practice.

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