Tuesday, July 5, 2016

#IWSG JULY 2016 – CHECK-IN – ALEX'S QUESTION AND AN ANSWER


A few weeks ago, Alex Cavanaugh sent around an email to all #IWSG participants and suggested that he was going to “spice things up a bit” by asking a question for all of us to answer during the following month's check-in and for his first question, he picked a good one: “What's the best thing anyone has ever said about your writing?”

I have a great answer and it was also said to me by my mentor regarding my viola playing and it's quite an achievement, I think. But, before I answer it, I have to kind of explain the process of getting there.

We all start out learning the basics; what's excepted in music and writing and what is strictly forbidden. We learn the rules and build a foundation upon which to build our craft. Once we've done that, we then look to, or read other people that we admire and study their technique and we sort of pick and choose what we like about their practicing of their particular art, and discard what we don't care for.

We're starting to come into our own as individual artists and we start going down paths to see what works and what sucks. I've been down many a horrid path, before finding my way back to some kind of gold standard that works, yet still allows me to be me. My viola mentor worked with me one summer on the William Walton Viola Concerto, when I first came to Florida, and he had me change some of the fundamental ways I was playing and it freed me up and allowed me to express myself in ways I hadn't done before. I became a much better player and got out of my own way. When we finished at the end of the summer and I went through a run of the piece, he nodded his head, pleased. He said, “you took that piece and made it your own.” This is high praise. It wasn't William Primrose's Walton Viola Concerto, Or Patty McCarty's; it was MINE. Thank you, Ben. We worked hard on that!

This past April when we were doing the #A-to-Z Challenge, I wrote what I thought was just a little throw-away piece on the crazy entrepreneurs that pop up around here like Mayflies and disappear just as quickly. That piece can be found here. I was reading the comments, and Eden Mabee said, “Coming back here and reading these snippets in your distinctive and powerful voice reminds me of one of the real joys of blogging, Mary. Thank you.” I was just blown away. I write much the way I speak and think and often times I'm not sure I know where one leaves off and the other begins. But, again, I consider it high praise, because I've practiced enough writing/blogging and just fooling around with ideas that I'm not ill-at-ease, nor do I feel stilted or phony with it. It just happens; I'm a better “pantser” then I am a planner and all of that. But, I never realized that other people would see it as a powerful voice; I am so grateful for that; thank you, Eden!

So, to Eden and Ben, I thank you both for the love and encouragement you both have given me. I enjoy both playing and writing and am so fortunate to have the best of both worlds! 
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This is being published rather early, as I will be in Clinical Research all day tomorrow and at the Dentist most of the day on Thursday. I will be reading y'all's blog posts on Friday sometime. Have a Happy July #IWSG! 
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