One of the few benefits of aging is that you become less willing to lie. Thus, when my flute teacher recently asked me how my week’s worth of practice had gone I was able to look him in the eye and say, “badly.” Twenty years ago, I would have said, “uhhh, okay,” and (mistakenly) hoped like hell it wouldn’t have been obvious.
My teacher looked at me with concern and asked, “What went wrong?” Before I could launch into my excuses, he continued: “Did you not like the sounds you were producing? Did you have a hard time finding your embouchure? Did you not like the pieces you had to practice?”
All of a sudden, I was hit with an aha! moment. Perhaps my inability to practice heartfully was not a sign of laziness or lack of focus. Perhaps I had a valid reason for not practicing well. And if I could figure out what the reason was, maybe I could fix it.
I realized I’d already done the same thing with my writing. And you can, too. Here are five questions you can ask yourself:
1. Am I writing too soon?