Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Statement of Intent

I've romanticized the woodshed to the point where it's become a serious impediment to my creative life.

I had a blog. I wrote like 4 posts on it total. Reading those posts now, the writing is bad and labored, interesting points lost in a sea of assumptions and bad syntax.

For the last year and a half, every time I thought "I should write something on my blog" I talked myself out of it. Too labor-intensive, too much polish required, didn't want to spend the time, etc, but really I was afraid of failure. I wanted to secretly improve, to find a bunch of time and secret myself away to work on my writing (or game design, or bass playing) and emerge fully-formed; masterful with a unique voice.

That's not happening. On the other hand what is happening in my creative life is this: my double bass teacher contacted me this fall and said the AE jazz ensemble program he worked with was short on bassists and would I like to join an ensemble. And somehow I unwittingly got enrolled in two back-to-back ensembles with different repertoire and instrumentation.

I'm getting a lot better a lot faster. I wouldn't say I'm "good," but I'm now focusing on aspects of my playing I wouldn't have even known enough to identify, much less improve on. The necessity of going out and playing has forced my hand, and I always need to confront my weaknesses, identify my strengths, and do the workmanlike thing of prepping for a weekly 3 hour session. That leaves most of what I used to work on in the "vanity exercise" category; it's all useful but I've had to pare down elements that help me the least and focus on the most painful things. I spend a lot more of my practices sounding terrible than I used to. And that's a very good thing.

I need to do that in my other creative hobbies. I need to just write. In "public", but without trying to second-guess the existence or identity of my audience. I'm still not sure if I prefer writing as a fan, a critic, or a creator. I don't care. I'll write as often as I can, and not sweat how amateurish it ends up. I haven't been a writer since college, and even then I was barely a 'writing student,' not a writer.

Here goes.