In my writing practice I enjoy a little music. I happen to favor Pandora. It’s just easier not to have to generate a playlist. I’m currently listening to: Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major by Beethoven from Keeping Score.
Writing practice is really only interesting to writers, but if we speak of practice for other activities like baseball or yoga, or bodybuilding, we find some common themes and we’ll easily agree that diligence, passion, presence, self-mastery and joy are all fruits of our practice effort. We’d likely also agree that fears are a part of being human, and this is certainly no less true for those who have a practice of any kind, whether it be writing or wrestling. Contending with fear isn’t a one-time effort. It’s ongoing. Rather the practice must include, I think, an acceptance of, even befriending of our fears about practice. I aim to abide with tender feelings about performing well in my craft. I try hard to greet it companionably, like I would my grumpy neighbor. It’s there and I can be kind and send it away softened and heart warmed, if I choose. Bristling at myself works about as well as it does when I’m short-tempered with my grumpy neighbor. Sometimes that tenderness will remain sharp-edged and stifling for a time before wandering aimlessly off into the edges of consciousness. I don’t know why fears and self-doubt soften so I just try to accompany it until it passes. These feelings are a part of me. I deserve kindness.
Symphony No. 2 in D Major Op. 36 by Beethoven in Beethoven Symphonies 1-9 Overtures by Roger Norrington