I am happy to report that I've escaped the lonely tower, and can return to the creative playground. Sunshine, rainbows, angels singing, I have emerged from the "stuck storm." What did I learn in the process?
- Persistence pays, but you need a strong "why" to keep you going
when it gets rough. I was motivated by my desire to make music in a new
way, and I have a date to give a house concert. The latter is the one which really mattered most to me.
- You are not alone and the internet proves that. Thank goodness, over and over again, I found a trail of people with the same questions. Sometimes, I found some golden nuggets to help fill in another piece of the puzzle. I can't imagine trying to do this without computers, search engines and user forums.
- Take notes. Writing down what I've tried and what happened helped me feel more objective and organized about what could have been hours of failure. Plus, I could more objectively understand what worked and what didn't, and I could jot down what I wanted to try out later. It helped me feel more empowered and productive to have lab notes when my experiments were failing right and left.
- Breaks are important. I didn't take enough breaks during this challenge, and I suspect I would have been happier had I danced or knitted more. My back and shoulders are aching, so it's time to listen to my body-mind and walk away from the computer.
Helen Yee is an improvising violinist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. Currently violinist for the eclectic string trio, Trio Tritticali she also performs on yangqin with Music From China. She considers the practice of improvisation in all its forms a profound teacher in art and in life.