The following is an excerpt from Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life, 2003.
She highlights her story:
I begin each day of my life with a ritual: I wake up at 5:30 am, put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and the weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym: the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go, I have completed the ritual.
She goes on to say: Like everyone, I have days when I wake up, stare at the ceiling, and ask myself, Gee, do I feel like working out today? But, the quasi-religious power I attach to this ritual keeps me from rolling over and going back to sleep. It’s vital to establish some rituals – automatic but decisive patterns of behavior – at the beginning of the creative process, when you are most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up, or going the wrong way. Turning something into a ritual eliminates the question, Why am I doing this? By the time I give the taxi driver directions, it’s too late to wonder why I’m going to the gym and not snoozing under the warm covers of my bed. The cab is moving. I’m committed. Like it or not, I’m going to the gym.