Guitar practice time. = 4 hours. I fell 1 hour short of the 5 hour goal.
More travel this past week. More travel this weekend. And I have another week out after that. I do not like to hear myself whine. It's foolish and ungrateful. I like my job. I like that I have a job. I like that I have opportunities to leave my government issue cubicle to do my job and to live my life (e.g., Washington D.C. for a work conference; Chicago to meet my friend's baby).
Also… (I once heard Dr. Phil say that the word "but" reverses everything you just said. For example, I love you, but you stink says, "I don't love you, because you stink." So we should use "and" and its derivatives instead. I love you, and you stink says, "I love you even when you stink.")
As I was saying…
Also.. I have a very hard time with too much Go. It simply isn't my design to be constantly "on" and in motion. I am not a multi-tasker. My ends fray and my thoughts fragment. I can't sustain this kind of momentum. Some people can. I can't.
So, there is that.
Narrative evidence of progress: Well, crap. I don't know. Chris gave me a new exercise -- the blues scale up and down the neck. It makes musical sense in a way the previous exercises didn't. So I prefer the blues scale. Plus, the intervals cover more space, so it takes less time. Really, I simply cannot tolerate being inconvenienced by work. (That was a joke.)
New Song Development: My goal was to scratch out a vocal line for an original. I did not.
I have reached the "f*ck it" stage of progress. Sadly, this is where I live a lot of the time. It is my back yard. In this stage, I start to notice that everything I produce, every chord progression, every [whatever else I don't have the lingo to properly identify], starts to sound like the one before. Everything sounds stupid and amateurish, and I hate it all. I lose my joy in the process. I start to wonder why I'm even bothering. Who gives a crap? This goal doesn't matter. Play at an open mic? Seriously? What's the point?
Answer: The point, Angel Face, is to not limit your experiences because of chicken-shit-itis. If there is something I want to do, and I find myself thinking up reasons to not do it (e.g., "There is no point to it."), it probably means I'm suffering from chicken-shit-itis, which is a dumb and treatable disease.
The other part of the f*ck it stage... I start thinking about my next project. I have two lined up: (1) learning to sew and design clothes; and (2) a story writing venture, which would take too long to explain. Neither of these things scare me. So the fact that my brain right now is saying, "Oh, these are better projects, Honey. You just picked the wrong project, Sweetheart. Drop this singing and songwriting silliness and pick something that's better suited for you, Pumpkin."
I've noticed this about myself -- that my escape from a dissatisfying present reality (for whatever reason… my imperfections, falling short of expectations, whatever) is to plan and fantasize about a future. It doesn't take long to completely detach from where I am and what I'm doing. I drift away into hypothetical possibility and lose progress. This is frustrating to me, and I would like to fix this pattern.
You know, overall, the last 10 days have really solidified something I already knew: the importance of stillness to creativity. Stillness is clarifying, scoops out the muck. I have always enjoyed being alone. It's energizing. I cannot be creative without stillness. Can anyone? I can't express anything in a way that's genuine with so much junk in my trunk. And stillness isn't necessarily "quiet" in terms of volume. I can be still in a crowd. I think stillness is just time to exist without expectations (others' or own). So important for so many reasons.
Cover Song Development: I chose No One is to Blame by Howard Jones. I love this song. I love these lyrics. And I could not figure out the blasted chords to save my life. I just couldn't find them on the guitar. I was just about to scrap the song completely when this morning I decided to cheat. With the help of the google machine, I found a ridiculously simplified version of the chords. Like, shamefully simple. Like, E A D, simple, for those in the know. Seriously? E A D? I couldn't find that? That's the equivalent of… "Oh, golly gee. What's that word for the thing that you put on top of your head when it's cold? Oh! Right! Hat." (No offense to anyone suffering brain injury or just learning English.)
Goals for the next 10 days:
1. Log another 4 hours of practice time. (I'm in town only 5 of the next 10 days. I will not be flying to D.C. on a work trip with my guitar stowed in the overhead compartment. So… I seriously doubt I'll get 5 hours.)
2. Scratch out a better vocal line for an original. I will do this by recording the guitar parts of a few songs before I leave. I can work on vocal lines in my hotel room. My hotel neighbors will be very appreciative, I'm sure.
3. Figure out at least the verse for No One is to Blame. (Because I didn't do it the last 10 days.)
4. Make a list of all the positive things to be gained from this experience. (Because I'm forgetting. The f*ck it stage trips a short in my memory.)
5. Eat some cookies. (Because they are delicious.)