About editing, inspiration and discipline
Right now I’m in the middle of a struggle with myself. I’m lacking discipline and I know just one way to put myself in the right mood for getting something done.
Beat my own a**. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
I realized right now, as an epiphany, that I’m forgetting the most important lesson a teacher ever taught me. I’ll explain myself in details.
When I teach, I force myself to remember how was it like, for me as a pupil, to struggle with a skill I don’t feel mine, yet.
The best teachers are those who are able to reach you and inspire you to learn. The secret behind that?
They’re doing all they’re doing just to inspire themselves.
I realized, after having experienced sadness for a bit, how reading what I just wrote about sadness in writing inspired me. In here, I’m trying to keep myself inspired. Not my readers.
So, let me tell you something about my teacher.
The best teacher I ever had was a man, who died back in 2011. He was my krav maga teacher. I loved that sport, because of him. He taught me all I’ll ever need to know to be not just a good teacher, but also a good student.
And if you’re wondering, yeah, I perfectly remember my practice.
Anyway, all I need to know is part of Buddhism’s philosophy. I’m an atheist, but I like philosophy quite a lot.
Ichi go, ichi e.
My teacher taught me that it means be there with yourself, while you live your life.
In practice, it meant having your eyes open, paying attention to your surroundings, looking for a way to escape a bad situation. And knowing exactly how to fight back. So, in practice, you aim for perfection. You do the same thing over and over again, until your body learns to do just that move.
My piano lessons were very useful to understand that concept.
‘Be there’ means you have to focus.
You need to find a way to be focused: it could be some music, some white noise (like, the sound of raining) or just silence. It depends on who you are, you have to know yourself enough already.
It means you have to try to become, with patience, better and better.
You have to keep alive the love for learning. That’s the key. Since I’m also a musician who doesn’t perform anymore, I understood this very well. The last song I ever performed as a pianist was an Étude. It took me a month of practicing, three hours a day, to get that done. And I mean every day.
Practicing the art of writing, this means I need to set up a routine and force myself to actually strict to it. And feel kinda guilty with myself if I don’t.
While the days were passing over, in that month, the song sounded better and better. Studying became a moment in which I wasn’t really on planet Earth. All I could feel was music, and I had the duty to keep playing so I could keep hearing it.
It was hard, doing that. But all I remember, right now, is the journey I took me to master it. The performance went good, if you were wondering.
Now, let’s talk about the problems.
A moment of truth
Sometimes the greater problem is boredom. At first I justified myself telling me I wasn’t in the right mood.
But it really was just boredom. Laziness. I admit it.
Good news: boredom is what actually sparks creativity. Believe me, your brain doesn’t want to be bored. If you binge on something, it becomes a happy brain. And if you’re a writer you can binge on letters, words, sentences… written by yourself.
Come on, go edit.
Think about how was it like when you first wrote that. What were you trying to tell? Draw your story with your words as if you were a painter.
Don’t think about doing it. Think about getting it done. And be patient.
Patience is an artist’s best friend.