Music infused my family. My mother was an elementary music teacher so I always had the tools of rhythm and melody close. And I remember a piano always sitting in some room of the house.
I began banging on those piano keys, and my mother signed me up for lessons. (She was too smart to try to teach me herself.)
That was when the practicing began. Playing scales and doing exercises. Getting my fingers to play sonatinas and sonatas by Bach and Liszt. Struggling and pushing myself to get the notes right.
But, when practice was over, after I got those notes into my fingers and could really play, I performed. Any performer will tell you, once you have the words in your throat or the notes in your hands or the dance in your feet, suddenly you are free to transform that piece into art.
Making Space for Practice
Building a creative habit allows you to practice the craft of your art. Making space in your life for that practice keeps your skills honed and improving.
Writing each day can do that. Practicing your musical instrument. Memorizing lines. Working on your brush skills. Throwing pots day after day. All of these things depend on the ability to repeat our actions – to get those actions into our muscle memory – so we can continue to improve our work, making our art more and more accessible and intense and exotic and complex and simple and beautiful and challenging. By spending time on practice, we give our passion the room to infuse our words and music and manifestations.
Practice isn’t exotic. It never sounds fun and playful – though I have spent many a lovely hour perfecting my knitting technique. But it is necessary. Working on our skills means that we take our art seriously. We practice, we rehearse, we do our research, we write, we put our hands on the wood, on the glass, on the clay, on our brushes.
And we do it most days.
Because we know that through practice, our art blossoms.
Building a Creative Habit
Building a creative habit for practice, or to finish a project, or to make the space in your life to simply do your art, is one of the most effective ways to make progress with your creativity. If it’s hard to get yourself into the practice, you will find my new short guide called “Tricking Yourself into a Creative Habit” can get you moving in the right direction.
In this guide, I give you the tools that I used to make my creative habit happen – and I know they can work for you because I am a stubborn bitch who won’t do things that I know are good for me. Click here to download!