The 10,000 Hours Rule (Creativity Tuesday)

Confession: I’m slacking on my drawing. This means Creativity Tuesday is a lot less pretty than it used to be. The two creative pursuits I’m spending the most time on lately do not translate well to the computer screen: writing (dribs and drabs, and now my laptop is messed up so !!!!) and singing (the girls and I joined a secular, intergenerational folk choir).

I think I’m gravitating to these outlets because they’re so comfortable for me, even though they don’t challenge me in the ways that drawing does. I’ve been in vocal music for most of my life, and I’ve been writing (whether journal, academic, or creative) just as long. We harsh on the Tiger Mother philosophy but she does have a point about enjoying creative pursuits: it really is more fun when you’re actually good at them. Learning is hard, practice is tough; but once you get some mastery down, you can experience creative flow that’s profoundly rewarding. Also, you get good faster when you’re picking something back up, rather than trying for the first time.

As has been well-documented, I like instant gratification a lot. And as has also been documented, I just don’t have a lot of time to dick around, and I am craving creative outlet, and I can write so much more in an hour than I can draw. I can sing so much in my car, and get good (again) so much faster. I was singing in the car on the drive home after seeing Mike Daisey’s transcendant “American Utopias” performance, and I felt myself move to the next level of singing ability: high notes were suddenly easier to reach, my lung capacity has grown just a little, my voice is more nimble over notes than it was a month ago. I love that.

I’m pretty sure that singing and writing are the only things in my life that qualify for the 10,000 hours rule.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I guess I feel like these pursuits have a better chance of going somewhere, of having something new emerge from them, than do creative things that are fresh and new. I still doodle with the girls. I’m still practicing my lettering here and there. But mostly I’m trying to get a book draft going. And learning harmonies to “Seven Bridges Road.”

One Response to The 10,000 Hours Rule (Creativity Tuesday)

  1. Paul just did Seven Bridges Road at karaoke! He and the karaoke leader did a good job, IMHO. I always screw it up when I join in :)