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Conditions on the Ground Can Change Rapidly

Conditions on the ground can change rapidly.

Three days ago I started composing a blog post about the current state of my oboe playing. It was all about how I am struggling right now and not physically playing well and feeling desperate about it.

It took me a good three days to edit it into an essay I could publish. I needed to find the right way to spin my story so that I had a lesson that was relevant to others, because I know that this cycle of self-loathing is a normal part of creative life and everyone has been there. So rather than just writing what I felt - that I suck - I was working on putting that feeling into context, and establishing how I got there. I also spent some time figuring out how to turn the post around at the end - I wanted to have some solution to the problem in mind to show readers that I wasn't just whining, but actually working to solve things.

But you know what? After three days of analyzing the problem in writing and coming up with ways to work on it and trying those out in the practice room, I don't suck any more! My playing is definitely on the mend, and my concert tonight is going to go well, and I know what I need to do to keep improving.

So three days worth of writing are rendered totally irrelevant and won't be published - but I love that having this blog actually made a real-life difference to me! I've had rough oboe patches before, but this is one of the fastest turn-arounds I've seen, and I attribute it to the writing process. Thanks, ProneOboe!


  1. Sounds to me like your essay would be particularly valuable, now that you've put its ideas to the test and found them successful. I'd be interested in seeing it here if you change your mind!

  2. Yep. Been there too! I've been at this so long that when I'm in a bad place I now know very well that I'll wade through the muck and things WILL get better. Still isn't fun to be in the muck, though!


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