Creative DNA

If there is a Creative DNA do you have it?

Twyla Tharp is one of America’s greatest choreographers. She believes that we all have strands of creative code hard-wired into our imaginations — they determine the forms we work in, the stories we tell, and how we tell them.

If you want to understand your creative DNA then answer these 33 questions taken from The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (© 2003 by W.A.T. Ltd.):

  1. What is the first creative moment you remember?
  2. Was anyone there to witness or appreciate it?
  3. What is the best idea you’ve ever had?
  4. What made it great in your mind?
  5. What is the dumbest idea?
  6. What made it stupid?
  7. Can you connect the dots that led you to this idea?
  8. What is your creative ambition?
  9. What are the obstacles to this ambition?
  10. What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?
  11. How do you begin your day?
  12. What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?
  13. Describe your first successful creative act.
  14. Describe your second successful creative act.
  15. Compare them.
  16. What are your attitudes toward: money, power, praise, rivals, work, play?
  17. Which artists do you admire the most?
  18. Why are they your role models?
  19. What do you and your role models have in common?
  20. Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?
  21. Who is your muse?
  22. Define muse.
  23. When confronted with superior intelligence or talent, how do you respond?
  24. When faced with stupidity, hostility, intransigence, laziness, or indifference in others, how do you respond?
  25. When faced with impending success or the threat of failure, how do you respond?
  26. When at work, do you love the process or the result?
  27. At what moments do you feel your reach exceeds your grasp?
  28. What is your ideal creative activity?
  29. What is your greatest fear?
  30. What is the likelihood of either of the answers to the previous questions happening?
  31. Which of your answers would you most like to change?
  32. What is your idea of mastery?
  33. What is your greatest dream?

Or, if you don’t have the time, pick a random four or five questions and reflect on those.

Whether you spent 10 minutes or two hours with these questions, you need to ask yourself what your answers say about how you approach the act of creativity.

The questions that connected for me were those about ‘best idea’, starting the day, habits and how I face stupidity, hostility etc. How about you?