Seriously Summer

Seriously Serving the Work

Is there any sin a creative person can commit that is worse than taking himself too seriously? Even a genius with a lifetime of brilliant work loses some credibility when it becomes clear that he’s doubling up on the gravitas. I catch myself doing this a lot. It happens most frequently when I am trying to motivate myself. I make what I’m doing seem so important and so dire that I usually wind up faking myself out.

Everything should be taken exactly as seriously as it needs to be and not a bit more or less.

Summer dreams

Thoughts like this only come to me in the summer. It’s something to do with the heat and my inability to do anything useful. The long days and heat make moving difficult and coherent thoughts aren’t as plentiful as they need to be for anything to get done. I can’t help but think that this is why we always read about famous writers and artists going to the ocean for the summer and living like wild animals in villas. Me? I have no villa. I have a nice deck that I can’t sit on when the temperatures hit the triple digits and a lawn that needs mowing. I retreat to the comfort of the ceiling fans and ice water at the very thought of moving.

In these long, hot days it’s very difficult to find that balance. The trigger needs to be tripped and it feels like the mechanism is rusted shut. I’m sure this has something to do with the academic calendar and the way that it drills “Summer Is Slack Time” into the mind of those of us who took our education a little too far. Thus in the summer, only the important things get done. The really important things. Like reading light novels and taking road trips. Or sitting very still on the couch and ignoring the sweat. It’s easy to see why one might resort to over-inflating the importance of one’s work simply to get the butt off of the couch and into the studio.

The summer requires a different strategy. Single sitting exercises. Write a complete piece in one hour. Whatever is done when the time is up, is done. I’m writing a lot of songs that way right now. I give myself the benefit of some editing during my daily review, but for the most part I’m knocking out stuff. It will turn into something when the time is right. Maybe it’s the creative equivalent of laying in stores for the long winter ahead.

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