Twyla Tharp's 'The Creative Habit'. Read it.
I have just finished doing so (NSCD students its back in the library) and I think its a very very important book for all of those people on a creative journey/in creative study. It has an incredibly positive energy about it, gives exercises to help push creativity and has a clear, easily readable style.
A main theme in the book is that the creation of habit is something that can actually help us become more creative. By developing 'rituals' it gives us the security to be free in our creative practise. Being a student at a dance school I can really relate to this. When I am at NSCD I feel my most productive - I have a pretty similar day every day, and even the weekends tend to have a similar sequence of events. Although time is often short because of the school day it also makes me more efficient with my creative time, and I often feel like I have a lot more ideas flowing when I am at school. In the school holidays my whole routine gets lost. Maybe it is this, or the fact I am less physical, so less connected to my body, but I find it hard to be motivated creatively.
Perhaps the reason I feel such a strong connection with the book is because it supports a lot of opinions I have already formed, for example that lucky people aren't just lucky - they work hard for their 'luck' and they take the opportunities that are given to them.
Or perhaps it was just good timing that I read 'The Creative Habit' it now, as I can relate it to some recent experiences.
For example, at the end of the summer holidays I visited a friend of mine in San Francisco. He is a musician, and like me and dance, he has pretty clear opinions on what he does and doesn't like in musical terms. Both of are also vocal about this, and prefer to be truthful about what does and doesn't work. So, while we were driving around San Fran (a tip from the inside...never call it 'frisco) he would play tracks from his i-phone and talk about the song - what he thought worked and what didn't. After two weeks I came home and realised I now hear music totally differently. I am much more aware of its structure and the different sounds. I realised I began to hear it as choreography.
It was also around this discovery that I read one of Twyla's chapters about skill, and the fact that to be creative you have to hone and refine your skill/or technique to allow you to have the best tools to be creative. So my aim is to work on my music appreciation and understanding skill...which is probably quite important as my first choreography project is a 'sound' project, looking at the relationship between movement and sound.
I will repeat myself and say read Twyla Tharp's book, and see where it fits in with your creative habit.