practice, production, performance

i worry i am not good enough to write, to compose, to play music and that worry makes me impatient to the point where i stop producing because the finished product does not come fast enough. because the first draft isn’t perfect, i stop mid-sentence and delete what was started so my failures will not be discovered by myself or anyone else in the future. of course, this negative cycle impedes my ability to ever become better as a creative writer or a musician or a composer of songs – for i refuse to accept that i need to practice like everyone else to be good at the things i want to be.

part of this impediment includes a nagging reminder lingering at the corner of my mind that i know musicians and writers a thousand times more talented and better than me (and who am i to think that i could produce like them! the nerve of some people thinking they are artists when clearly they are not!) of course, there are many people who would tell me this is ridiculous and on some level i know this, but there is little logic to the voices in our heads, and mine are no exception.

i have been thinking a lot lately about my desire to produce creative writing and music – and whether the lure is simple interest in producing good works, or for the rush of performing them. performance is a powerful drug for me, much more so than the solitary discipline that so much practice and creation require. but i also recognize the production aspect as equally important, for performing the works of others doesn’t produce nearly the euphoria as performing my own.

this blog has helped me to break part of the cycle by giving me an audience to whom i write every day. although most of my blog is simply rants, observations and personal tidbits, the exercise of writing in front of others for the past year (and the fact that people actually read it, and also comment on it, and seem to enjoy it) has helped me to loosen some of the boundaries for sharing. what is posted here is mainly first draft (ie: rough) writing, other than a few of the longer pieces i have put more time into. most of it is personal and indulgent. most of it is material which has no place anywhere else (except a personal journal), so specific it is to my world and the people within it. the writing here is not “polished” nor is it expected to be, and the voice that comes through here is unrehearsed – it is just me and not a fiction, the way some blogs are.

but as unrehearsed as it may be – it is still performance on some level, which aside from the liberatory aspect that journal writing often has – is the other major reason i enjoy writing here so much. it is the ability to post for an audience that gives me the drive to write here more days than not, and has allowed me to stave the demons of “i’m not good enough”…..

as i wrote a couple of days ago, i am embarking on two projects this summer – one is to learn to play the guitar (and generally work on music) and the other is to start writing more regularly in a creative vein. because the ability to “perform” work is important to me, i think this blog is as good a venue as any for the poetry and prose i am working on…. and may stop me from discarding work before it is ever finished.

today i posted a poem i wrote a couple weeks ago…. and have a short creative sketch i will upload later this weekend once i tweak it a bit more. i am not looking for criticism (I have a couple writerly friends who provide that type of advice for me, and generally I am not good at accepting it from strangers), but i do hope this addition to my blog will help round-it-out a bit more creatively. i have created a new category for fiction and poetry, which these entries will be catalogued under.

i am nervous to expose myself in this way, but not nearly so much as the first time the flying folk army took the stage (and we really weren’t very good together then, 7 years ago)… what i didn’t realize then but now know is that only maturing practice produces confident work. why i am feeling the drive to produce more creatively now i am no sure, but i do believe i am entering a new creative stage in my life and that needs to be heard by at least my own hands and head. we’ll see what comes of it.

thanks for continuing to read…. regular blog posting will continue as planned 🙂

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