The Creative Habit

I’ve been reading Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit. It’s inspiring and positive and encouraging. I highly recommend this book to all who practice art and life.     

I’ve learned that being creative is a full-time job with its own daily patterns. That’s why writers, for example, like to establish routines for themselves. The most productive ones get started early in the morning, when the world is quiet, the phones aren’t ringing, and their minds are rested, alert, and not yet polluted by other people’s words. They might set a goal for themselves – write fifteen hundred words, or stay at their desk until noon – but the real secret is that they do this every day. In other words, they are disciplined. Over time, as the daily routines become second nature, discipline morphs into habit.

It’s the same for any creative individual, whether it’s a painter finding his way each morning to the easel, or a medical researcher returning daily to the laboratory. The routine is a much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration, maybe more. This routine is available to everyone.

Happy Painting!

8 thoughts on “The Creative Habit

  1. Peggy Stermer-Cox

    Hi Donna, I found Twyla Tharps book enlightening. I particularly liked the concept of a establishing a routine to be creative. 100 days of painting sounds great; it will be fun to see the new works!

    1. Donna Post author

      Thanks Peggy – so good to hear from you again! Yes, when all is said and done and I have some time for reflection, I think that my “100 Days” project will prove to be a milestone for me.

  2. Ruth Armitage

    Hi Donna,
    Your ‘retreat’ sounds just perfect. Giving yourself the time and setting the goal can be half the battle. It works wonders to enlist a helpful husband too 🙂 So glad to hear about your successes with your goal & I look forward to seeing some of the resulting paintings and hearing about your upcoming exhibition! Congrats and thanks for the inspiration. I have Twyla Tharp’s book in my studio & pick it up from time to time when I need a little discipline 🙂

    1. Donna Post author

      Hi Ruth,
      Nice to hear from you! After having a chaotic and over-busy fall and winter in 2009, it sure was nice to have a peaceful summer filled with lots of painting time. Now my challenge is to keep painting when my life gets busy again – which it will very soon!

  3. D Johnson

    Great to have you back! Today I read your article in Oct WC Artist and will try many of your suggestions for interesting shapes! Your insights on shapes and backgrounds motivate me to try abstracting more. Thanks


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