The Joy of Practice

Photo by  Joy Real  on  Unsplash

Photo by Joy Real on Unsplash

I've been pretty 'creative' my whole life and have turned my hand to a variety of art forms. As a teenager, I was a competent musician, I have been dancing, drawing and painting since childhood, and I've enjoyed writing on and off since college. I've also been cavalier in my approach and tend to drop and pick up media depending on my mood. However, throughout my years of creative practice there have been two constants: I remain curious and I enjoy practice.

Practice is at the heart of everything I do, and it is, for me, the route to mastery.  Innate talent may be a necessary prerequisite for success in art and in life, but if you don't enjoy practicing a skill in order to learn, grow and improve, that talent will be wasted.  Most importantly, I don't think practice should feel like a chore. It should be an end in and of itself. If you genuinely enjoy the process of creation, the final result will not frame the whole of your experience. In a culture so enamored with product, it is easy to lose sight of this.

A wise man (Joe Maddon, the new manager of The Cubs Baseball team) said in a recent interview; 'don't ever let the pressure exceed the pleasure'.  Something about this comment really resonated with me.  I think it is easy to let this happen, especially when so much emphasis is placed on the quality of the product rather than the wonderful journey that lead to its creation.