Streams

Spent most of today trying to last-minute shop. I’m never this bad, just not feeling the holiday shopping spirit anymore. Going to see my cousin and his family. Much better way to celebrate.

I learned about stream of consciousness writing in college. Writing nonstop without editing. Staying in the moment. Allowing thoughts to be freed by actions. But I learned about the concept in my teens as a musician.

Spent hours, days, weeks, years practicing all kinds of theory and technique. When it came time to jam I didn’t have to think or second guess my actions. The better my skills were the easier for emotions to flow. Notes and rhythms became melodies and harmonies. Picking up other musicians cues, making them my own, throwing my version back at them. The whole band moving like a school of fish, each one of us pushing and pulling each other. In the moment.

I recorded jams all the time. Hearing sessions and getting lost in it as a listener would was fantastic alone. But I could analyze any aspect of my playing. My interactions with others. Mistakes could be corrected. I could get new ideas. Lifted concepts became seeds to cultivate. Growth was fast during those years.

The cycle became: practice-jam-analyze-practice.

Now I apply these ideas to writing. Researching blogs and books. Studying other writers’ voices and forms. Getting ideas. Writing this blog. Revising and trimming and adding and posting. Asking readers for critique. Looking for new concepts to study and write about. Ways to improve.

The new cycle: read-write-edit-read.

As a musician my goal was stardom; touring band, albums, fame and fortune. Along the way I fell in love with the process; learning, failing, correcting, and experimenting. About one week into this blog and I’m already into the process, no different; learning, failing, correcting, and experimenting. Can’t tell you where this path will take me. Don’t want to know. I fear looking too far into the future and stepping into a puddle right in front of me.

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