Don’t Spare Yourself

Okay, so… I’m still taking violin lessons. Along with my violin lessons I discovered another life lesson, as well as a good lesson for writers. If I want to learn how to play the violin, I have to be willing to play poorly. Like I remind my writing students all the time — be willing to write several shitty drafts before the story works, before you “sound” pleasing.  The enjoyment found in writing several shitty drafts, as well as playing crude on the violin, is indispensable to progress in both. I delight in holding an idea and seeing how it comes out on the page. I enjoy holding the violin and … Continue reading

The Paradox of Uncertainty

The Present   Much has been said about being in the present. It’s the place to be, according to the gurus, like the latest club on the downtown scene, but no one, it seems, is able to give you directions.   It doesn’t seem desirable or even possible to wake up every morning and begin leaping from one second into the next until you fall exhausted back into bed.   Plus, there’d be no past with so many scenes to savor and regret, and no future, the place you will die but not before flying around with a jet-pack.   … Continue reading