Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back to Twyla

Solitude ©2009 Dora Sislian Themelis

There hasn't been much time for reading lately. Painting during the day when I can, and knitting at night takes up my time. I really enjoy reading a good book, too. (And a "real" book at that!)

The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp is a quick read though, and I'd prefer to take my time with it to savor her thoughts of making one's art a habit. I have read ahead almost to the end, but I haven't taken notes. When I read The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, I took plenty of notes, did the exercises and tried to be a good student. This time around I'm not being quite as good. I'm just reading.

However, I am taking away some very helpful points and ideas. There are things I already know about myself that Tharp discusses in her book, one idea is to build up a tolerance for solitude. Well, I've got that one down well. I know I need it and can do it very well, thanks.

I can imagine that there are some people to whom quietness and solitude could not be a good thing. Not for a long stretch anyway.

Tharp says: "Some people are autophobic. They're afraid to be alone. The thought of going into a room to work all by themselves pains them in a way that is, at first, paralyzing within the room, and then keeps them from entering the room altogether. It's not the solitude that slays a creative person. It's all that solitude without a purpose. You're alone, you're suffering, and you don't have a good reason for putting yourself through that misery...you need a goal."

It's impossible to me to be miserable in a room all by myself. No suffering here. I'm a person who enjoys my own company. I have many things around me that keep me busy and give me inspiration. My goal is the solitude itself within which I can then create.

Some people, for the life of them, cannot be alone for any stretch of time. There is no goal. They are lonely and sick without interaction with other individuals.

"Alone is a fact, a condition where no one else is around. Lonely is how you feel about that."


  1. I like your little sharing on solitude. I am an extravert, so I get revved up being with other people; however, I love my solitude when it's a chosen thing. It's depressing to be all alone when not choosing to be alone. Know what I mean! Anyway, according to Myers-Briggs (if that's correct) testing, the extravert gets re-energized from being with people while the introvert is re-energized from being alone. Extravert as I am, I'd rather be alone than to be with people who annoy me! I'll bet you can relate to that one!

  2. Terese, I can relate. Being the loner that I am I really need my time, relish it. Maybe that's why I love Mondays: I am at home while everyone else is out. No noise, no yapping, no TV, just quiet. And my brain can relax. Is it weird?


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