English Sachbuch

Twyla Tharp – The Creative Habit


Most people can’t recall much more than three notes in any context. Think about the last lecture you heard or business meeting you attended or book you had to read. How many of the important take-away points could you recall if you didn’t memoralize them in writing?

Twyla Tharp is a well-known choreographer in America, one of her recent works „Movin’ out“ (a dance evening based on songs by Billy Joel) was a veritable success on Broadway. Choreography might not be a discipline many of us have experience with but Twyla Tharps creativity tips work throughout all possible disciplines.

All I know for sure is that they are trapped in a the box. But do so with the faith that nothing is lost, that you haven’t put it in all this effort for naught. Everything you’ve done is in the box. You can always come back to it.

This box system might not be usable for all of us, we don’t have enough space to store lots of boxes for all projects. Also many of us will store a lot of the material digitally. We are trying to get rid of pyhsical media like CDs or DVDs and it’s just not possible to put everything in a box. The good thing with that is, that you don’t need a lot of space for digital boxes, you might also store your notes for every project in a Yojimbo folder (or any other program of your choice). And you can always access your material for later reference, which is even easier, if you’ve named and archived it digitally.

Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.

All of us sometimes get stuck in our projects, you can’t go forward with constant speed all the time. Your passion and a good system will help you get out of your blockades. Twyla Tharp knows her stuff and is giving practical tips for everybody in the creative business. Creativity is not only talent, it’s also a habit you can learn and use every day of your life.


Tony Parsons – Starting Over


That is the worst thing about having children. You want to protect them more than you ever can. You try to endure that unendurable fact. But it is always there.

My holidays in Barcelona were blessed by great weather and we had lots of fun although I didn’t get to enough Geocaching for my taste. The days before the holiday on the contrary have been packed with work, so I hadn’t had to much time to pack my things for the trip. And the impossible happened: I forgot to take a fiction book with me, I only brought the guidebooks. So I had to buy this book near Port Olimpic and I can say that the assortment of books in a language I can truly read wasn’t that wide.

Considering this facts I was quite lucky. Tony Parsons is a great storyteller focusing on family life (at least in this book). The protagonist suffers a heart attack and receives a new chance to live through a heart transplantation. It seems his life is not the same, although nobody wants to understand his feelings about the unknown donor and what he might have received from him beyond the heart. His kids just started to live their own lifes and can’t be protected anymore. His wife wants him to forget about the new heart and continue the life they led before the heart attack (without the bad habits like smoking or fat food of course). All this leads to a crisis that shakes the family much more than the heart disease. Resolving the crisis takes some time, will they work it out in the end? Be sure to find some kind of a happy end.

And just for the record: Jack Kerouac is following me.

Bed made with military precision. A small bookcase with neat rows of paperbacks. I pulled one out and flicked through it. A phrase leapt out at me, stopped me in my tracks. The ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being. I looked at the cover. Blue skies. A fifties car. Two men, smiling, their faces half in shadow. On the Road by Jack Kerouac.


Jonathan Mead – Reclaim Your Dreams

Jonathan Mead: Reclaim Your Dreams (ebook)

NOTE: This is the first post written originally in English. For German summary scroll down.

But then other people tell you how you should be: your teachers, uncles, aunts, classmates, and religious leaders. They all have an idea of what you should be. You compare what’s good and what’s bad, what’s desirable and what’s not. You obviously want to make good choices. But the problem is that it doesn’t always happen because you’re comparing yourself to an image of perfection.

Jonathan Mead, where he tries to help people to reclaim their dreams. That’s what his book is about. Most of us have lost sight of our dreams because we are overwhelmed of the routine of everyday life. Often we get lost in the daily things, that need to get done and don’t find time for the things we really want to pursue. If you want to get out of this routine and really work on your dreams, this book might have some useful tips for you.

But is the purpose of living to simply get things done? If you’re living this way, you’ve lost sight of the point of being productive in the first place: to create more time for the things you love. If you’re being productive for the sake of productivity, or working for work’s sake, you’ve gone too far.

Productivity is very important for „us internet people“, that are online 24-7 and often working evenings, nights or weekends. But ticking off things on lists is not what’s important in the end. Jonathan talks about or own thoughts, that constrain us and about outer barriers, like our day job or our friends and families, that might not encourage us if we want to become an astronaut (for example). The book is about finding a way to pursuing your dreams and get on with the daily life as well. Most important tip for me: Work on your dreams every day. Best do it first thing in the morning. Make it important. To you, you’re dreams should be most important.

Deutsche Zusammenfassung: Jonathan Mead betreibt den Blog, sein Ziel ist es, seinen Lesern zu helfen, ihre Träume zu verfolgen. Darum geht es in seinem Buch Reclaim Your Dreams. Im Alltag verlieren wir oft unsere Träume aus dem Blick, weil uns das Leben mit den täglichen Erledigungen überfordert und wir keine Zeit für die Verwirklichung unserer Träume finden. Wer aus diesem Kreis ausbrechen will, findet viele nützliche Tipps in diesem Buch. Produktivität alleine kann nicht die Lösung unserer Zeitprobleme sein, das Abhaken von ToDos auf Listen ist letztendlich nicht das, was wirklich wichtig ist. Jonathan gibt in diesem Buch Tipps, wie man einerseits seine eigenen negativen Gedanken besiegen kann, aber andererseits auch, wie man damit umgeht, wenn Freunde oder Familie keine oder wenig Unterstützung bringen, wenn man beispielsweise Astronaut werden möchte. Der wichtigste Tipp für mich: Arbeite täglich an deinem Traum. Am besten gleich als Erstes jeden Tag, bevor man noch etwas anderes beginnt. Es muss wichtig sein. Der eigene Traum sollte vielleicht sogar das Allerwichtigste sein.