From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Monday, July 14, 2014

Watching True Masters

Over the July 4th weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time in St. George with a lot of extended family. This was a family reunion and celebration of my Grandpa's 80th birthday. At an art gallery in St. George, three of my aunts put on a concert. All three of these incredible ladies have graduate schooling in music, and work as professional musicians. Two of them are pianists, one a violinist, and seriously, watching them is a little bit mind-boggling.


It's great to see family members in their element like that. They are true masters of their craft. Watching them got me thinking about mastering our craft of writing, and how that long, often arduous process is similar for both writers and musicians.

It takes time. This is probably the most necessary element of becoming a master. In many ways its simply a time game. We have to put in our 10,000 hours, and that takes, ya know, 10,000 hours. My aunts have all been playing music since they were basically toddlers. Not that if we didn't start that early we've lost our chance, but we do need to acknowledge that its just going to take some time.

It takes consistency. I took eight years of piano. (My mom comes from this musical family after all, and is also an accomplished pianist and singer.) But its been a while. So a while, in fact, that basically all I have left is a plunky version of Silent Night. If I had been consistent, and kept going, maybe I would also know how to play Away in a Manger. Really though, even though the daily efforts we make may seem small, and may feel like we're not accomplishing much, it's like the dots on a Seurat painting. It's true, one or two dots by themselves may not be much, but all together, and over time, they add up into something absolutely stunning.

It takes mentors. Each of my aunts have had a multitude of teachers and mentors. It is so important that we find people who we can emulate, and who can teach us. As writers we can do this through classes, through blogs, through books on writing, and lots of other ways. A good mentor can not only give you the lay of the land, but can help you identify and strengthen your weak spots. They also provide the encouragement when all you're seeing is the uninspiring individual dots, and not the beautiful picture as a whole.

So keep working, keep putting in that daily effort, and learn from everyone you can. It's a lifelong journey, but these things can help us become greater masters of our craft.

Write on!

Sarah

8 comments:

  1. The only way to get better is to put in the time. I play several instruments and even minored in music in college. But the only one I can play with any skill right now is the guitar because I spend an hour or two practicing every day.
    That's cool your aunts can play together at that level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! It's about time and consistent practice. Good habits can carry us through even in the midst of a seeming dry spell.

      Delete
  2. It's good to be reminded that we can't get anywhere without hard work. It's a slow process we don't always see ourselves, so mentors are important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Getting that extra bit of perspective from someone who knows the territory and has been successful is invaluable!

      Delete
  3. Wonderful post. I needed it right now, in the midst of rewriting and editing. It takes time to grow and nurture a talent - I've watched a friend of mine mature over the last ten years from an amateur water color painter into a true professional talent. It was quite a journey and she says it isn't over by a long shot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad this could help! These parts of the process definitely apply to painting as well. So cool you've been able to watch your friend go through that! And I think she's right, we always have learning and improving to do.

      Delete
  4. You're right, all creativity takes work. And I'm glad we're in it together. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly :) That's what's so great about the online writing community, because we're all here to teach, encourage, and support each other.

      Delete

I absolutely love hearing from you! Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and comments, they really do make my day. Consider yourself awesome. Also, I do my best to respond to every comment within 24 hours, so I invite you to come back and continue the conversation :)

If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for the monthly newsletter and get more updates, writing tips, and funnies, as well as a free copy of 50 Marketing and Networking Tips for Writers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...