Monday Morning Musings

© Oregon Bach Festival
© Oregon Bach Festival

Last Friday evening we had the privilege of witnessing extraordinary gifts and talents as we attended a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor. The concert was mutually hosted by our own Oregon Symphony with the Oregon Bach Festival, an annual event held in Eugene, OR.

As we sat in our seats with a perfect view of the stage and each participant, time halted and nothing going on around me penetrated the stop that had occurred in my world. A young tenor, Nicholas Phan, sang Dona nobis pacem. This incredible voice in this talented and gifted young person was perfection.

How, I asked myself, can he be so perfect in his execution of this music? How can each musician accompanying his performance be so error-free? The conductor, 80-year old Helmuth Rilling, who has served as artistic director of the Bach festival for 43 years, directs in a minimalist fashion as these participants are so well-trained and practiced.

Aha, I thought. That last word going through my mind — what was it?

Practiced! That’s it — they practice.

Yes, these are creatives who practice daily for hours on end. Then they attend rehearsals and their offerings are critiqued by a conductor.

What are we writers if not creatives?

The truth then is:

As creatives who want to produce a good work, we must practice.

Daily, sometimes hours, to produce an extraordinary work.

Attribution: Hakan Dahlstrom via Fotomedia
Attribution: Hakan Dahlstrom via Fotomedia

People, it takes work and even though we enjoy and have fun with our writing sometimes and maybe all the time, we must practice our craft daily.

Starting today, I’m incorporating a new beginning in my writing life. I’ve followed Shirley Showalter’s 100 Day Challenge. Each day of 100 days you chart a new beginning, if possible. Some days you may not have a new beginning, and I admit that I have not added one each day. But today I do.

My new beginning will be to spend at least the next two months of summer starting today and ending September 15th giving the majority of my writing time to my memoir. I have hit my stride of late and don’t want to lose my pace.

Therefore, you’ll see a decline in educational, resource-related blog posts. Those take a lot of time and sometimes research as well as educating myself on something new. And yes, where I have committed to guest posts I will honor that commitment.

My posts here will now be about “practice.” Yes, writing practice. Perhaps free writes, morning papers, a new word I found to use as a prompt. I don’t know what all I’ll write about — you’ll just have to wait and see.

I guess you’d say I’ve decided to make my blog my practice site. A place to hone my skills and work on technique and all those things we need to practice. If there’s no post here, you’ll know I’m working on my memoir!

Won’t you try practicing a part of each day with me?

Attribution: Brainy Quotes
Attribution: Brainy Quotes

10 thoughts on “Monday Morning Musings

  1. Amen, sister Sherrey. I sit in my writing chair every day and love it, but sometimes I get distracted and my fingers go to “play-time.” Thanks to your admonition, focus and concentration will be my watchwords today.

    1. Oh, I love that “amen” you gave me, sister Marian. I love that I helped you center on watchwords for your writing time. I like “focus and concentration,” both of which are illusive at times.

  2. ***sigh*** This has been drilled into me everywhere I look this weekend. I think it might be time to take heed! Okay. Will commit to writing every day. Even if it’s just some journal writing before I go to bed. I can’t be a blogger without daily practice, and certainly can’t hope to write anything else! 🙂

    1. Lisa, it doesn’t have to be long periods of time. Just jotting in your journal, if you keep one, is considered writing. Or like my post “Outside My Window” the other day. Something that suddenly inspires you to write for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. That’s considered writing!

  3. Sherrey, I am so inspired by this post and honored that you are framing your daily memoir writing time as a New Beginning. I am sending you love and prayers for focus and an openness to memory through discipline and relaxation. Not contradictory terms!
    If others want to log their own desires for daily writing, they can do it directly here: http://bit.ly/10Q38A6
    Think of Helmuth Rilling and his minimalist conducting (a great analogy, by the way). The orchestra members are your memories. The music is divine. You as the conductor are connecting your memories with the divine.
    Thank your for your generosity to me. And blessings as you write, write, write. Practice, practice, practice.

    1. Shirley, your comments are inspiring to me. I love mutual inspiration! I especially cherish your words, “You as the conductor are connecting your memories with the divine.” So glad our lives have been connected by this big, wide world of cyberspace.

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