The Creative Habit
In her bookThe Creative Habit, choreographer Twyla Tharp shares a fascinating insight into the formation of habits. She wakes very early each morning and goes to her studio for a workout. On many mornings, she doesn’t really feel like going, but she does anyway. However, going to the studio isn’t the habit. The habit is hailing the cab that will take her to the studio. She says that once she hails the cab, she knows that the rest of the process will be on autopilot, but the hardest part is getting down to the curb to hail the cab. So that’s the habit she focuses on.
It’s far too easy to overcomplicate habits and rituals, but if you try, you can probably simplify many of your most valuable ones down to that very first trigger action. It’s the thing that gets you moving. For me, every time I write, I light a candle. Not just any candle: an Archipelago Havana Cigar scented candle. I go through several each year. It’s an important part of my writing habit because it sends a signal to my brain that it’s time to begin to write. Once I light it, I’m already on the way. And I only light that candle when I’m writing.
Trigger habits can you help you get moving on difficult creative work.
What trigger habits can you begin to instill in your life today?