I am feeling a little better about life in general. I’ve made a few decisions that have helped me be calmer about work and money.
Decision number 1: I’m going to try to do something with writing.
It may take a long time, and it may end up not working out. But I’m going to try. I’ve been going back and forth for the last couple of years, trying to think of something else to do with my life, getting frustrated that all I do is play and teach violin, wanting something else. The goal of continuing to write to see where it goes makes me feel better about just playing and teaching violin. I don’t feel stuck as long as I have a goal. That it might take a long time is good for me. The longer I can feel content with what I’m doing, the better.
Decision number 2: Get more violin students.
I have gaps in my schedule, and teaching 6 students in a day is no more tiring than teaching 4. I have to be there anyway, and I may as well teach as many as I can. Because more students equals more money. And more money teaching means I don’t have to get a day job that will take time away from my writing. Win win.
Decision number 3: Start a string quartet. In which I play viola.
This is already in the works. My husband is our first violinist and Raine is our cellist. We’ve found another violinist and have had a few rehearsals. It seems small, but playing viola is a new challenge for me. Reading the notes is different, producing sound is different. It looks like a big violin, but it isn’t. It’s different enough that I have a lot to learn. Which is refreshing, because since I finished graduate school and got into the pro orchestras, I haven’t really felt like I’m learning anything in music anymore.
I wouldn’t have chosen viola on my own. We spent a few months trying to find a violist that we thought would work well in the quartet. But since all of our friends are violinists, we finally gave up. My husband suggested I play viola since I took lessons for a while when I was a teenager. That way we could ask one of our violin friends to join us. I thought that seemed like a good idea. It was.
Decision number 4: Have a routine.
I’ve already written a post about having a routine. I tried a routine for a while, and it worked alright. Then I changed my teaching schedule, and did not make a new routine. So I made one yesterday. It has my teaching schedule, as well as days I should walk, lift weights, go to the archery range, practice violin, and practice viola. It’s important for me to do all of those things, so they should all be on the schedule. Health, weight, and being in shape are things I often forget about. Being in shape in general, and being in shape to play my instruments. When I go for a week only playing while I teach, then when I need to practice, it hurts. That’s just dumb. I need to stop that.
I am not including writing in my routine because….
Decision number 5: Realize that things come and go in waves, and that that’s okay.
I tend to berate myself if I miss a few days writing, or eat too much for a few days, or don’t practice my violin enough when I have a concert coming up. Some of those things… yeah, I should be upset. Violin is my job. I need to keep up with it. Overeating makes me feel like garbage, and then my clothes don’t fit.
But is it really a huge deal if I take 4 days off after writing or editing for 8 days straight? I don’t think so. I used to. But it’s like everything else in life. Sometimes I just need a break from it. If taking a break from it isn’t going to hurt me or ruin my plan or ruin my work, what’s the harm? My brain needs a rest, and resting it is the best way to get back to productive writing sooner.
The few times I do force myself to write when I don’t feel like it, it’s crap that I have to go back and totally change later. I know people say it’s always better to write even if it’s crap, but… for me, a rest seems better. I’d rather take the time off to think about what I want to write, rather than writing a bunch of garbage. It takes the same amount of time to rest and think as it does to write crap and change it. And resting is MUCH less frustrating than opening my document and seeing a bunch of brown smeary crap there.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Get more work and be content with it. Do a few things that challenge me. Be more productive. Get into shape. Be patient with my writing.
I’m trying to think of some appropriate closing thought. I’ve got nothing.