****NOTE****Sorry this is getting to you way too late but I dropped my laptop a few moments ago and it has gone into a computer coma that was caused by severe hard drive trauma.
This was "Music" week for me and that meant that I focused primarily on practicing my harmonica. I have to admit that I am disappointed with how little time I actually practiced, but there is no going back in time now and I can't cry about it either. I will just do better next time. I did however make some progress. It takes practice to produce a single note on the harmonica because the holes are so small, but I got much, much better at using the tongue block technique to make single notes. I learned to play the Major C Scale and also the children's song, Mary Had a Little Lamb. Overall I am pleased with what I learned this week with the harmonica. There is much work to do but mastering the techniques necessary to produce single notes on the harmonica is very important.
I also checked on guitar lessons at the local music shops because I also want to learn to play the six string acoustic. I have big plans for learning to play the electric bass and the banjo as well, but that will wait for now. Obviously I am a little overwhelmed at this point with just the harmonica.
Other than writing, creative activities like actually playing music and drawing or painting are new to me and still intimidating in some way. I have almost no hesitation in most instances when it comes time to delve into some writing; although I do get a little balky with creative writing at times. The things that intimidate and cause me to get blocked are the same with anything however. It's just that I have more practice with writing and I know how to get myself moving quicker. Like many people I get preoccupied with worrying about how my creations will turn out and that self consciousness about my abilities is crippling. Even if I slow down and tell myself that I don't have to produce masterpieces now or ever it is still hard to get started with some creative projects.
This all comes about because there is a "gap" between what I can mentally conceptualize and what my actual abilities and/or efforts can produce. Actually, to be honest, sometimes there is no gap but I sit and worry that there is a gap and I let that worrying stop me from working. I'm sure other creatives will recognize what I am talking about here. I sit there at my laptop staring at a blank screen or my desk with a blank stack of sketch paper in front of me and I worry about letting myself down and getting frustrated with my skills. More often than not when I eventually get going and I finish something I am pleased, (and sometimes shocked), at the results.
I have to constantly remind myself that a strong creative mind is flexible and dynamic. I have to not take myself or anything too seriously and remember that perfection is a myth and that everything can be learned from, especially "mistakes," if you want to recognize such things. Even if I was recognized as being "Great" at something and I felt the same way, (I hope this never happens because I think its the kiss of death), I would still have to practice and let myself be wild and boundless while completely pushing out expectations for the sake of stretching my creative abilities.
I spent a little time working on some concept drawings I started last week, and I am working towards putting some of these down in a more polished form as paintings. Two days ago it was the First Friday Art Walk here in Flagstaff and I spent the evening going from gallery to gallery looking at the wares. I was able to enjoy it for a little while before the crowds started to get to me and I started to get anxious thinking about how I am going to break into the commercial art world and possibly make a living at it. I hate to be taken out of the moment like that by thoughts of money and making a living but that is our world and I can't change it. I left down town a little bummed out and I let it drag on through the weekend and now I am really sick from eating something rotten. I guess I am feeling pretty low, but I know that this will pass and I've learned much this week.