Book note on The Creative Habit: Excuses

In The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp shares her journey and gives guidance on building a habit of working on your creativity. One of the key things is getting over some of the fears and excuses you might have for starting and sharing something creative:

  1. People will laugh at me.

  2. Someone has done it before.

  3. I have nothing to say.

  4. I will upset someone I love.

  5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind.

My real fear is that people will cringe when they read things I write. I can deal with people laughing at me. It seems like I’ll have to go through both if I want to learn how to get people to laugh with me.

I’m not the first person to blog, and I’m not even the ten thousandth person to try posting every day. In a lot of cases I know that because I’m pretty much taking the exact same premise or method.

I don’t have a fear of having nothing to say, I’m not even worried that I won’t have anything good to say. I know I won’t have anything good to say on some days. The point of establishing a habit is to to keep working through those days because they’ll add up and I’ll learn to start creating something good.

I’m not too worried about upsetting someone I love. I’m not doing any kind of tell-all and I’m not hiding any of this from anyone. My girlfriend was one of the first people I told about this project and she’s been very supportive. Same with my brother and a couple close friends I’ve shared this project with.

As far as not reaching the expectation I have set in my mind, you can beat that by setting the bar very low. Not a great strategy for long-term goals. The long-term goal is to have a hundred posts in 100 days knowing that will get me a good practice. However, it requires a lower bar for each post. And there has to be some kind of balance. My rule that I’ve stuck pretty close to it is to not have cut out those that are two or three sentences just the post for the sake of posting.

Some days I haven’t had a full hour and it’s not enough time to really polish anything of length. In the future, if I’m writing one-day posts I’ll aim to create shorter posts. Otherwise I’ll take multiple days to give myself time to write something of substance.