I've been listening a lot to one of my Diana Krall CDs lately, and her music has really helped me focus. I've CRANKED these past couple of days, actually. And uh yeah, I've sorta kept the CD on "repeat" as a result.
I'm starting to equate my writing process to that of being a one-man band. The band practices until all the instruments are tightly-knit, the venue is such that the music sounds good, and the resources are all in line in order for the performance to happen. Writing, then, becomes a performance of sorts. This is not to say that each writing session must be a perfect, critically-acclaimed performance. However, I'm calling it "a performance" in that the outgrowth of a good rehearsal involves all of the pieces functioning together well enough to "perform." The performance itself doesn't need to be stellar every time, but in order for the show to go on the pieces at least need to be able to work together.
A jazz group would have a difficult time performing without its drummer, or its bassist, or its vocalist, and so forth. All of the components must at least "be there" in order for the performance to happen. Again, the performance may not be stellar, but the show must go on.
This is to suggest that if (er...OK, when) I'm having a bad writing day, it's not that I'm inherently a bad writer or a poor scholar. It's just that the vocalist in my band has a cold, or the drummer has an ear infection, or the bassist is just having a bad day and should really be playing the blues. One or more components is probably missing that day, so that day's performance may not win any awards. But I need to keep in mind that the show must go on. I need to at least complete the show and 'get it out there,' so I can then take the feedback from the local newspaper critic, learn from it, and work toward a better performance in the future. Without performance, others don't know you're doing much of anything. You can practice all you want in your own living room, but what's the point of making music unless you share it and let others hear it?
OK, it's time to kick my drummer's ass and get some more writing done today. Am determined to finish up this @#$% lingering pilot study before I see DC on Tuesday.