Creative Habit #1

Dear Writing Friends,

 I am writing this on May 31, four days after Memorial Day, the traditional kickoff to summer. While the temperatures are nowhere near what the weather service is predicting this year, the sky in Austin is already thick with humidity. I feel it in my hands and feet, in the small joints in my fingers and toes. I was recently diagnosed with an amorphous autoimmune condition that has a number but no official diagnosis. In a nutshell, I’m suffering from joint pain and fatigue. Fortunately, I have a few amazing women in my life – a nutritionist and a Pilates teacher – who are helping me find ways to cope without resorting to toxic medications recommended by the rheumatologists. The happy side effect?  I’ve created a new morning routine that not only alleviates my symptoms, but feeds my writing life.

My days now begin in the bathtub with aromatherapy salts, which draw water from my swollen hands and feet and soothe the joints. I follow that with some yoga and Pilates, a ritual that begins with my lying down on my yoga mat. When I don’t have time for the bath, I start by lying down. When I’m done with the yoga, I sit meditation for twenty minutes. With mind and body relaxed, I’m ready to write. More than one coach has recommended I begin my day with self-care. As a Capricorn, sun and moon, and as I like to say, in all directions forever and for eternity, my predisposition is to drive myself. But when I begin my morning by giving the artist within loads of love and pampering, I set myself up for a more productive day. When the muse gets a bath, she gets to work. There is something else at work here as well. Creativity thrives on habit.

In the first chapter of Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit, she lays out her morning routine, which begins with a cab ride to the gym where she works out for two hours. After exercise, she’s on to her office to make phone calls and return correspondence. Finally, she walks into her empty studio and begins to choreograph. When do you think her creative day begins? According to Tharp, the moment she puts up her hand to hail a cab. The mind is its own creature of habit. It learns that one thing follows another in succession. For me, I know that my creative day begins not when I hit the page, but when I lie down on the yoga mat. Not a bad way to get going.

What is your morning routine? How does your mind know that it is time to begin its creative work?

Best wishes for a healthy and productive summer.


Mastering Your Creative Work Flow, By Jeffrey Davis

 I recently took this webinar series by Jeffrey Davis, who describes himself as a thought leader in the field of creativity and productivity. He is also the author of The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing.

If you want to improve your workflow and understand how the mind operates in relationship to the creative process, I cannot recommend this series highly enough. I put together my own morning routine after listening to these webinars. It’s incredibly well priced. Here is the link:



(C) 2011 Saundra Goldman