11 December 2012

Here’s a thought

Not at all a new thought, but a fresh application of an old, old thought.
The old, old thought is, get even a little work in, each and every day. That is (and at times I need it about this obvious), don't not do any work, just because you haven't a two-hour block of time to dedicate to creative work.
As she is apt to do periodically, Masha recently asked me what I was working on. Well, the honest answer had been, nothing, really.  Some few days had passed since I had set pen at all to paper.
I have accumulated some three unfinished projects – that is, three fairly fresh unfinished projects, as distinct from a number of longer-lived unfinished projects, White Nights, e.g.  And the query together with the response provoked reflection on the fact that (again: nothing new) if I do something rather than nothing, each day, there will be some progress made, some art created.
So I christen this morning's commute The Three-Measure Train Ride.  Three measures is entirely manageable on even the busiest, least wiggle-roomy days.  It's about time I shamed myself into even this modest amount of work, for the fact is, I've carried my notebook every day for probably the whole year. So many days I've carried, and not even opened it.

And in fact, this morning, I drew up some three and a half measures, continuing the first movement of the Organ Sonata.


Cato said...

When cranking out his spy novels, William F. Buckley said he disciplined himself to write a thousand words a day. (?!)

Quantity to be sure, but one worries about the quality, with such a method.

And he no doubt had more creative time for such a rule.

Karl Henning said...

Good point. I should have made it clear: Quality is the foremost concern!

JMW said...

Didn't Prokofiev's mom used to brag about how many pages per day Sergei Sergeyevich could crank out?

Cato said...

"Didn't Prokofiev's mom used to brag about how many pages per day Sergei Sergeyevich could crank out?"

Yes, to her son's musical tutor Nicolai Tcherepnin, who (according to Prokofiev) had said that some days he produced only one bar of music, and thereby might have been trying to impress her (and young Sergei?) with his meticulousness.

Karl Henning said...

Well … use now you've got me thinking: are these six measures which I have composed to-day, really the sic measures I want?

Cato said...

Every composer has a way of working which is appropriate for his or her compositional life.

Rules do not exist! :)

Cato said...

As Homer Simpson would say:

"No rules! Woo-hoo!"