I couldn’t get started yesterday. After I warmed up on the oboe, I played a few notes of my concerto. Then I tried an excerpt or two. An etude? Nothing seemed to take – I wasn’t having fun or finding things to work on or feeling the magic at all. I was scattered and uninterested.
So I thought I’d work with my computer a bit. I opened a text window to rough out the mission statement for my new chamber music series (curious yet?), and jotted down a few words. But it wasn’t flowing. I toyed with WordPress to start a website for it. Didn’t really get anything going. I thought I’d explore fonts. Typed my name a jillion times and refonted it over and over. This was obviously a make-work project – simply me grasping at anything, ANYTHING to feel productive. Didn’t work.
I tried responding to emails. That was all right, but when I went to compose a new one – info for newly enrolling students for next year – I again hit a block.
All of this took place in about 45 minutes, to give you perspective on my crummy morning. I hopped from one project to another and couldn’t pick up any momentum. Eventually, I just decided that I had to create SOMETHING. I made a yummy summer salad. Lots of nice chopping and whisking and combining. Thirty minutes later I had my head on straight again – and a yummy summer salad, to boot. We ate, I took a nap, and hit the floor running for a good afternoon’s work.
Sometimes creativity requires a little jumpstart. Sometimes you just have to DO something real. Finishing a project and having a concrete result to point to – I DID this today – can get you moving and keep you moving. Something as mundane as mowing the lawn or preparing a salad can be exactly what the oboe needs!