12 things playing the flute taught me about writing

‘Practice makes perfect’ is just the beginning…

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As many a writer will tell you, words and music are very similar. Here’s what learning to play the flute has taught me about being a writer.

1. Most of the time, it’s not fun.

Want to know my definition of a professional writer? It’s someone who finds writing really, really, really hard.

Only amateurs write for fun or—heaven help us—to relax. Because finding the perfect way to say something takes a lot of effort.

Ditto with practicing an instrument: If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right and you’ll never progress.

With both writing and music, the pleasure comes from the breakthroughs that follow the brain aches.

2. Little and often is best.

As any musician will tell you, 10 minutes of practice every day is much more effective—not to mention less daunting—than two hours once a week.

The same goes for getting into your writing groove. And with both writing and music, as you gain stamina and competence, you tend to find that those 10 minutes become 20, then 30 and beyond.

3. Getting started is the hardest part.

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