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Summary

All it takes to make creativity a part of your life is the willingness to make it a habit. It is the product of preparation and effort, and is within reach of everyone. Whether you are a painter, musician, businessperson, or simply an individual yearning to put your creativity to use, The Creative Habit provides you with 32 practical exercises based on the lessons Twyla Tharp has learned in her remarkable 35-year career.

In "Where's Your Pencil?" Tharp reminds you to observe the world - and get it down on paper. In "Coins and Chaos", she gives you an easy way to restore order and peace. In "Do a Verb", she turns your mind and body into coworkers. In "Build a Bridge to the Next Day", she shows you how to clean the clutter from your mind overnight.

Tharp leads you through the painful first steps of scratching for ideas, finding the spine of your work, and getting out of ruts and into productive grooves. The wide-open realm of possibilities can be energizing, and Twyla Tharp explains how to take a deep breath and begin....

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2003 W.A.T. Ltd. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant insight into a creative life

This is without question, a truly great book on creative processes. Twlya shares her own creative processes so that we can learn, develop, extend, enjoy and play with our own creative processes. With plenty of anecdote from a long career, the book is also part fascinating memoir, which holds interest and gives depth to the book. the techniques and habits Twyla Tharp describes are immediately useful and can be applied to just about anything, from cooking dinner to writing a novel. One of the most refreshing aspects of the book is that it is about dance and movement, so she brings an new, fresh perspective. I can't recommend it too highly and also can't believe that someone gave it a one star rating - don't take any notice of that. this is a really great book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Yin
  • København NV, Denmark
  • 30-05-13

Good and bad

As much as I want to give this book a better rating I can't. I started this book in a moment of crisis with a creative project and I wouldn't say it has been a complete waste of my time and money but I really can't recommend this book to many people. The story itself is nice but it is more of an autobiography than it is a self-help book. I feel like a lot of stories and examples could have been cut out and the message she was trying to convey would have been just as clear. Tharp states in the beginning that this book is not just about dancing but I feel a bit cheated - there is an awful lot of talk about dancing that simply does not interest me. I lose focus and really want to skip on those parts. The narrating is ok, her voice is calm and soothing but she simply goes too slow! The combination of the slow narration and the talk about classic music and dance is just not my kind of thing and not what I was hoping for.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Inspiring and practical

This is a book written by someone who has a lifetimes experience of creative work, so I respect the content of the book. Having read it all, I’d recommend it to anyone seeking to develop their creative pursuits and habits.
Fair enough, it contains dance related stories, and being a dancer I related very well to it. However I believe the lessons to learn here are applicable to any creative pursuit. The exercises are helpful, and I’ll be using lots of them for sure. They won’t have as much impact if you don’t listen to the (maybe sometimes too long) personal stories.
I recommend, for the exercises alone, and even for the reassurance of not feeling alone or weird the difficulties that creative types encounter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • m
  • 28-05-16

interesting and enlightening.

I'm glad I listened to it but she does sound like she's bragging about herself a lot!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Habits for Creative Dancers

Would you try another book written by Twyla Tharp or narrated by Lauren Fortgang?

I probably wouldn't try another book by this author, but would have no problem listening to Lauren Fortgang narrating other books.

What was most disappointing about Twyla Tharp’s story?

I was expecting a book on creativity and if your interested in Dance then this might be the book for you. However for those of us who practice other arts & crafts, this book has little to offer.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Yet to find one.

What character would you cut from The Creative Habit?

N/A

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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amazing book

a lot of things I can apply in life right now. great for creative or non creative jobs

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Waste of time (for me).

Feel like this book is an autobiography dressed up as a self help book to sell more copies. Unless you are a dancer, I wouldn’t bother. I have zero actionable takeaways and feel patronised for not knowing as much about classical music as the author. Sorry not for me.

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  • cvstuart
  • 27-03-13

A much-needed shout-out to good habits

Any additional comments?

If you have any creative component to your work-life, you should listen to this book by Twyla Tharp. It's about facing the blank canvas of creativity and overcoming all of the distractions, fears, and roadblocks to getting creative work done.

And a terrific narrator, too.

Highly recommended!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Music Lova
  • 19-01-15

First try at "Self Help" wasn't helpful.

What would have made The Creative Habit better?

Actually more ideas, rituals, and suggestions to actually develop a creative habit. This just seems to be mostly about the authors grandeur in dancing and creating plays.
There is some useful information but for me it was only a handful of times and few and far between.
I would have gotten more helpful ideas from a Lifehacker article.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Some thing historical or a biography.

What about Lauren Fortgang’s performance did you like?

Her voice is very soothing and well spoken.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The performance was good and there were some helpful ideas.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Elena
  • 05-01-15

Does not deliver

Author talks too much about herself and does not give information on creating the habit.
It is not what I expected. I like when she talks about the geniuses but overall I think this 8 hour book could be done in 2 hours.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashton
  • 27-08-13

life altering

Genius. I could take this book and start a school. The lessons apply to all fields and I like learning about the dance world. The exercises challenged me to the core and upset me sometimes but in a good way.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rami
  • 05-06-13

It is OK

It is just an average book. No SECRET to creativity or anything that you would not guess. It is about Preparing and clearing your mind so you get the Creativity flowing. It probably over promises. and the performance will easily put you to bed. One of the slowest reading I ever saw.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Vera
  • 30-04-13

Wordy, overacted, not easily applicable

Would you try another book from Twyla Tharp and/or Lauren Fortgang?

I would not purchase another book by Twyla because she focuses way too much on dance and doesn't convey it well to other aspects of the creative world. I would not purchase another book read by Lauren because she overacts and drawls on, making a read that should only be a few hours into an excruciating 6 or 7.

Would you ever listen to anything by Twyla Tharp again?

No

Would you be willing to try another one of Lauren Fortgang’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There was nothing helpful or insightful for me. I was hoping for a book that would give me some guidance or a few good techniques, but this book is more like her patting herself on the back for solving some of her own problems. Her problems are very specific to producing dance and choreography, which doesn't translate to my creative problems at all.

Any additional comments?

Was bored out of my skull listening to this one.

15 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Manda
  • 01-02-18

helpful for an artist, thought provoking

exercises are fun and easy to complete
narrator voice breaks off in last chapter
helpful

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 02-02-14

Overall an inspiring listen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend it to friends looking for inspiration, motivation and ideas on how to keep up their creativity and work in it as a profession. Why? I found the stories and such promote all the necessities to successful creativity in a really nice and clear way.

What did you like best about this story?

She uses a variety of examples and explains things really well. It's a good book on reflecting and learning from a fellow creative's experiences as she explains her own mistakes, pitfalls and areas of success. I liked the examples of other creatives she also researched and read about.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the stories on classical composers and their working habits the most.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Creative Habit?

I'm seriously considering her idea of putting each project into its own box/boxes to keep a log of everything associated to it. That was a neat idea.

Any additional comments?

The narrator did a really good job too, it was one of those cases she sounded like she truly did author the book. Loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kazuhiko
  • 16-06-13

Useful advices

I am always interested in listening to (reading) artists' perspectives on how to "make it" and survive in each area of arts. She provides several useful advices. I understand that the field of modern dance is extremely competitive and under-appreciated. I am sure she worked very hard, tried creative approaches, and definitely deserves the success. But, reading her stories, I could not help feeling that she was still a lucky one. Although this is supposed to be a how-to book of sort, sometimes I felt like she was bragging a bit. I had to compare this to David Byrne's How Music Works, which, to me, provides broader perspective in art in general as well as very practical considerations in music industry. Anyway, I still appreciated her advices nevertheless...

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brandy
  • 16-08-18

Inspirational and Informative

I love the way that Twyla Tharp brings creativity from the ethereal space around us and into the physical space we occupy. Creativity is something we do every day. Creativity is an action. This book made that idea more real for me than any others have done. I highly recommend it.