“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”- Jack London
The launch of my website coincides with the beginning of a long-held dream of mine, which is to take a year and write full-time. It’s not that I have any complaints about my day-job, or should I say night-job, as a musician in a symphony orchestra. For thirty-five years I have played the viola, twenty of which have found me luxuriating in the viola section of Canada’s finest chamber orchestra, working full-time as a professional musician. I’d be hard-pressed to improve on the job of playing with outstanding musicians under the direction of the late Maestro Georg Tintner, and currently, Bernhardt Gueller, bringing musical masterpieces to enthusiastic Maritime audiences on a weekly basis.
And yet… and yet. For as long as I’ve been obsessed with playing the viola, there has been a compulsion in me to write. Just as I love the physical act of having rich and beautiful sounds pour out of my viola, of feeling the vibrations of the music right down to my toes, so do I love the physical act of writing, whether the words are flying from pen to paper, or from under the keys at my fingertips. I love the triumph over the blank page, of filling notebooks and sheets of paper with prose. Making stuff up brings me joy.
The hard part, where the art lies, is in the rewriting. It takes time, and I have happily put in what spare time a working musician and mother-of-two can find. To my delight, three of my short stories have been recognized by literary journals*, and one of my children’s stories has been blessed with a stage production. “Blow in my ear,” as my mother would say. Give a writer a little encouragement, and watch out. This is where my sabbatical year comes in.
I plan to keep a blog account of my writing efforts over the coming months. My hope is to update it twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you hear from me less often, it could mean good news, I’m on a roll with my fiction writing. Or maybe I’m off playing my viola, which I can’t imagine completely abandoning. Then again, there could be an onslaught of blog posts, which might be symptomatic of writer’s block.
Writing isn’t easy. Inspiration isn’t handed to anyone on a plate, and rewriting is hard, hard work. It all needs time, and right now, for the first time in my adult life, I have time to write. Wish me luck.
*Links: The Adirondack Review, Glossolalia (Iss 1:1), Existere (Fall 2007)
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