Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thanks. I'm lightening up

Thanks for the encouraging comments and email messages.

Let's see. I had a very busy semester, at the end of which (in May) I put together an 11-concert summer chamber music series, raised a bunch of money for it, then performed in the first concert, packed my office for the move to our new building (including sorting through mounds of stuff and discarding 18 years of built-up, unneeded paper), did a week of recording sessions, had a testy spat with a colleague, and taught a week of improvisation workshops. Oh, and some of my cello majors stayed a week after graduation for a cello "boot camp," which took much time and energy, and one is staying for the summer, having multiple lessons per week. And my son graduated from high school, we had the big party. Then my exchange-student son from Hong Kong went home, and we first had a big party for him. And a very close relative's marriage is falling apart, and I'm close to both spouses, and that's been tearing me up.

So the last month or so has not exactly been a vacation!

I suppose it's understandable that my brain needs a little rest before reorganizing and rewriting my writings to shape them into "the book." It's hard to give myself permission to rest and have some fun, but my brain is demanding it.

Meanwhile, looking at this creative process I'm engaged in, I notice two things.

One is that the difference between blogging about improvisation and putting a book together is about the same as improvising and then listening to recordings of those improvisations and turning them into a coherent composition, or the general difference between improvising and composing. Think of how difficult the composition process was for Beethoven, who, somewhat paradoxically, was, by all reports, one of the greatest improvisers in the history of western art music.

The second, which follows from the first, is that putting together a book requires a sort of plotting and planning and organization that I haven't yet done.

So I'm relaxing about the whole thing, and giving up on rushing it. The brain, or certain parts of it, needs some rest. The project is still gestating; the baby won't be born until it's ready. And there will surely be more morning sickness and bloatedness and mood swings, and the labor may be long and the birth pangs nearly unbearable.

No wonder so many real writers drink too much or shoot themselves. Since I don't drink much, and plan to teach until I'm 80 or older, I'll just be a bit more patient with myself.

1 comment:

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