it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

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trailers for sale or let

So I just spent fifteen minutes picking gamely away at "Greensleeves" and got through it correctly exactly once. Even though I am playing the absolute idiot's version, just the basic melody, no ornaments, no arpeggios, no frills.

And you know what? I'm not upset about that.

Because it takes practice. You have to train your hands on what to do, and you have to train your brain on how it gets done, and you have to learn to do it. And that's okay. And you start off with easier stuff, with beginner's versions, and eventually you move up to harder stuff. You learn how to do more complicated things.

And more things at once.

And easy things better and more perfectly. And then you learn how to do the complicated things in such a way that they look easy.

The thing is, you don't just automatically start doing the hard things when you have been practicing the easy things for a while. Oh, no. You see, you have to try the hard things and fail. And you will never actually know that you are ready to try the harder things unless you keep trying them and failing, over and over again, until eventually you realize you aren't failing as badly... and then eventually maybe you are even getting it right.

And if you try to learn everything at once, you'll never see any progress in anything, and that will rapidly become frustrating. The thing is, practice actually does make you better at things. Seriously! Even when you are old like me! The more you do it, the better you get!

The trick is, you have to do it with attention. Doing it in a half-assed fashion does not help.

The funny thing is, this goes for writing too. Even though, for some reason, writing fiction is the art where people think they should just be able to wander in an do it perfectly the first time out. And of course that's not how it works.

See, artistry is not a gift. It's an acquired skill. There are certain gifts that can make it easier--auditory eidetic memory for a musican, synesthesia for a visual artist, a gift for proportion in a sculptor, an acute ear for dialect in an author (just to pick a few at random)--but the actual art of making a painting breathe or a story come alive, that's learned. And it's learned through hard work, apprenticeship, and just plain doing it a lot. And finishing projects. And pushing one's self past the boundaries of where one is working comfortably.

And working with attention and focus and intent.

And failing.

Lots and lots and lots of failing.

And maybe next time I'll get through "Greensleeves" twice without fluffing a note.

You never know.

Tomorrow, I think I will start writing again.
Tags: three chords and grimace musically, writing craft wank
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