I spent the last few weeks trying to get going on the piece, determined to actually put pencil to paper. I had the best of intentions, but it just hasn't happened.
I thought that after I figured out what I wanted to say with this piece of music things would fall into place. Oh, the folly.
No, instead I spent most of the past few weeks revising and rerevising the outline, thinking about the broader strokes of the work and generally not making much headway.
Accompanying this was a generous helping of self-doubt which came to visit with a big bag of (generally negative) self reflection. You know the type: What if I actually, truly suck? What if I'm a total hack? What if I can't really do this?
I was hoping that this weekend's trip to LA would ignite things a little. My thinking was: Since most of the work I've accomplished so far has been done while travelling, perhaps being out of town will be just the catalyst I need.
I started today with 12 free hours before the gig tonight, and after struggling and fighting with how to find a way in, here I am on my blog. Trying to figure it all out.
A large part of this is most likely a result of the number of conversations I've had recently with fellow performers that all fall under the umbrella of "I'm close to giving up hope."
Times are tough all over, and the arts are no exception. Many of us who are heading into 40 are starting to wonder if we can keep going. It isn't just the meager income, we're all quite adept at poverty, it's more that the future has gone from uncertain to kind of grim. So many of our friends and colleagues have packed it in that we can't help but wonder if we're obstinate or stupid for continuing.
So I guess it all fits together: There seem to be many of us in music who are on the verge of losing hope, and my project is about a hero who was trying to spread hope across Canada.
I'm glad I wrote this, it's given me clarity and, hopefully, the spark to put the pencil to paper and keep going.