As I have been developing my blogging concept more intensely over the past month I have learned a few things that seem really important:
1. Starting is the most important thing. It seems that I rarely have an idea of what I am going to say or even what subject I will cover until I begin. Once I start to put words on the screen, a reasonably coherent idea or message starts to emerge but almost never beforehand. The old adage, "Ready, fire, aim!" seems to be especially applicable to this phenomenon. The least productive thing I can do in a day is to sit around ruminating about what I should write, and how, all the whill tell myself that I really need to get started writing.
2. No matter how much I edit and improve my work as I am creating it, something will be wrong. There seems to be no end to my typing errors, grammatical gaffs and other regrettable awkwardnesses of style or voice. I am just beginning to grow up in my thinking about this reality. I will indulge my perfectionism for a few hours after I push the send button, so I do go back to correct the worst offenses as I compulsively check back to see if anyone responds to a particular piece. However, I have started to impose a statute of limitations--after 12 hours or so, it is time to let it go. Some of these issues have been connected to some annoying idiosyncrasies of the tools I am using. For example, I learned early on that my preferred word processor doesn't play well with my chosen blog platform.
3. The voice that is emerging through my writing is mine, for better or worse. At first, I wasn't sure if I was okay with what seemed to be coming through the pipeline, but I am settling in to a way of working that feels comfortable and sounds authentic most of the time. As I have said earlier, the positive responses to several of my pieces have been very encouraging, and I look forward to continuing the conversations that several of you have already initiated.
4. The things I have written have provided a wonderful opportunity to deepen relationships with people who have only known me through social media sites online. There are people whom I have never met who tell me that they value what I am offering and I gaining confidence that there is a need for the content I provide. I do not know yet how this will intertwine with my performance life but I imagine that it will all be a very good thing. Ideally, my musical work provides the fodder of material to write about. And then in turn, my hope is that some of the people who read my blog will engage with my performances and recordings over time.
So please forgive my self-consciousness as I continue to venture forth with this work. It is an interesting time to be a creative person. There has never been a time where an individual can be heard so easily by so many people. I also suspect that the world has rarely had a more desperate need for individual people to exercise their God-given artistic gifts and give voice to the vision that calls to them. So as I invest myself in making music and crafting words today, I would heartily encourage you to follow your own inner calling to craft beauty or meaning in your own unique ways. Don't allow the resistance of inner criticism, fear or indecision to keep you from exercising your own gifts and contributing your unique offering to our collective experience. We need you.