Creativity and the Digital Age

Reflections Inspired by Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit

“The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spiders web.” – Pablo Picasso

Twyla Tharp walks into a white room to begin her process of art; I’m face to face with a keyboard and white space of the chapter of a new book I’ll create in 2014. Anxiety sets in. The first time I read Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit was back in 2004. My brother Ron and I like to share meaningful and inspirational books, he shared her inspiration with me. We write our thoughts in the margins with different colored ink pens, pass it onto the other to read and make comments, then pass back. Receiving the reading list, I instantly downloaded the iPad® eBook version, yet I couldn’t get past page eleven on my electronic copy. It felt so cold and uninviting because it was missing the color and creative typography of the original printed copy. My muscle memory kept triggering my mind. I wanted to know what we each thought was important nearly a decade ago and discover how things may have changed. Did I learn it and use it for life?

As I consider that question, I realize the irony of what is happening. As soon as technology caught up with my imagination of being able to add photo galleries and videos to books, I became a publisher on the iBookstore®. It’s the eve of another release of one of my eBooks and I still find myself torn between the paper of yesterday and the technology of the future. The Texas bookless library made international news. Yet in the end, I realize no matter your preference, the story remains the same, the creative life must combine passion and skill. This is a great reminder from Twyla and whether book or eBook, chapter 9 has been bookmarked!

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Harold Whitman

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