practicing practicing

Am I special? Of course I am. I’m unique. But I’m human. I often tell a student, “If I can do it, you can do it. Because there’s no difference between you and me. The secret is to do the work.”

One of the writers I read is “Copyblogger” and today his email was particularly attention grabbing because he was asking something really important. He was asking… do you do more than read? He was saying, if you read an article and then start thinking about twittering or balancing your budget or getting your website organized, and you start – that’s great. But he pointed out that most of us do not follow through. A couple of weeks go by and there are no tweets, we've not organized the receipts, our website has nothing new to offer.

The reason I am having success now as a composer is that I’ve followed through. It’s been a long uphill climb, it’s taken years of effort in understanding, in practice, in trying. I was telling someone yesterday, that yes, I landed two deals in two weeks… but inbox is littered with rejections as well. Perhaps the music didn’t fit the bill, perhaps the music needs work, perhaps I have more to learn, and more skill to gain. So even if I sign that contract today, I still have to work at creating more music that I am proud to call my own, and still try to learn new skills even though it seems impossible that I will ever ‘get’ it, and I also have to earn enough money to pay my rent, hydro and internet hosting at the same time.

I talk to my students about practice. Not just practicing singing, which is of course valuable. But more importantly, practicing practicing. Because it’s our daily walk on the path, it’s our daily filling in the form, it’s our sitting down and planning the week, sorting out where we will put our energy and when. With lots of time left over to sit and dream.

How will you begin. How will you stay the course, in spite of doubts and all the curve balls that come your way? Will you still be on that path a few weeks from now?

Being prepared pays off! Recently, because I was working through Ariel Hyatt’s book (Music Success in Nine Weeks), I revamped my film/tv website, added my newly developed ‘pitch statement’, made sure my samples were up to date, and had some composer friends check it over. Today I got an email from a music library I signed with a couple months ago… they wanted a bio and information on what kind of music I write… because there is an opportunity coming up for Canadian composers. I was able, within minutes, to send them my newly minted bio and a link to my site. They've forwarded my information to the person handling the opp. I’m SO GLAD I was ready!


Frequency Theater said...

Hi Vikki!
Ariel mentioned you in the latest update about the blogging contest, so I was compelled to come and see what was up. Your story is quite inspiring, and I was pleasantly surprised by your music... I specialize in electronic based music, and it was really cool to come across someone else who is blending a more traditional song writing approach with electronics. Anyways, I enjoyed reading your blog, and I wish you the best, -Nate

Vikki said...

Hi Nate! Thanks for stopping by, I'll check out your site. Glad you liked the music :D