Ritual.  Habit.  Hard Work.  Twyla Tharp’s outlook on creativity is pretty simple in it’s essence.  It’s a perspective that appeals to me greatly.  Motivation?  Ideas?  Not a problem.   Buckling down and being productive?  Well…maybe, once I figure out which exciting thing to do among the zillions swirling around my head and then once I figure out why I didn’t already do it, and then maybe after I wash the dishes, ’cause I need to do that to clear my head too.  Oh, yeah, and I need a coffee, since I worked really hard at the day job, and I had to get up early so I’m tired, and I deserve it, and hmmm, I probably need to have some lunch too ’cause I’m feeling  a little light-headed and….


“Turning something into a ritual eliminates the question, Why am I doing this?…The ritual erases the question of whether or not I like it.  It’s also a friendly reminder that I’m doing the right thing. (I’ve done it before.  It was good.  I’ll do it again.)…In the end, there is no one ideal condition for creativity.  What works for one person is useless for another.  The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself.”


“Make it easy on yourself.”!!!  If there’s anything I need to be reminded of, it’s that.  I’m not sure if it’s so much that I’m a procrastinator, or more that I’m an over-thinker.  Maybe over-thinker is just a specific sub-species of procrastinator.  Either way, I am highly skilled at doing everything but the work and yet convincing myself that it is absolutely vital that I do x,y, and z, in order to get that creative work done.  Got to clear out email. Got to read blogs.  Got to upload to Flickr.  Got to update Facebook.  Good lord!  That stuff may be worth while, and vital to other important things, like maintaining friendships and gathering inspiration, but it’s not vital that I do it before I can make something.  I need some short cuts.  I need to stop thinking about why I don’t get things done, pare my actions down to the briefest list necessary, and get going.  I need a trigger.  1..2..3…GO!!!


P.S.  I will say one thing about blogging as a prod to making stuff.  If you’re someone who thinks that posts work better with pictures, and you’ve got nothing to take pictures of…well, you’ve got to make something, don’t you?

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  1. Kait, I completely identify with this mode of working. I can find many-a-thing to do before I get to creative work. I have to seriously limit my internet time (checking gmail, blogs, facebook, twitter, etc. It can suck me n and eat away the day!) and I segregate my personal from business activities (I work at home and laundry or dishes must wait until I am done at work). I once read “The Now Habit” by Neil Fiore which helped me to see I have more control over my busyness than I perceive. One major point that I took away from that book is committing to sit down to do something for just 30 min. – chances are you’ll continue to work, if time allows, and great things come of it.

    Make it easy on yourself is excellent advice – thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • Mary,
      I definitely need to check out that book! I’m making progress, but it’s still a challenge. Those dirty dishes have a way of convincing me they really need doing, right now! Thanks for stopping by and for your words of support. The creative struggle is always made easier by having comrades.
      Have a creative day!


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