The first in a multi-part series! When you’re in the creative mood, your energy and inspiration are boundless – there’s seemingly no end to ideas or motivation. But then, there are those other days, where you have the time (finally!) to let your creativity soar, and yet…nothing. To help combat that feeling, I present to you few books to help foster new ideas and just generally get you moving in a positive direction. These are texts I either rent from the library or pull off the shelf every so often to help pique my interest and get my creative confidence back.
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
This is a kind of “creativity 101.” Twyla Tharp is a world-renowned choreographer, and her book posits that creativity is no accident, but the result of ritual, perseverance, and diligence. I bought this book at first sight back in 2006, and every year I pull it off the shelf and read a few chapters. She has exercises to help get your mind moving when it might be stuck, and also offers sage advice for developing “the creative habit.” To me, her best piece of advice is at the beginning of the text; she explains the importance of rituals in the creative process. For instance, a writer always getting up to write at the same time every day, and developing a pattern for what that looks like. (“First I get up, make coffee, use my special writing mug, sit at my writing desk, turn on the computer, jot down notes, and get right to work for two uninterrupted hours, no exceptions.” Something like that.) The book is filled with other great strategies – what works best for you might change depending on your mood or the day!