While my son and I were at Drum Corps championships last year, wandering through the Sea of Merch (otherwise known as a stadium concourse filled with logo t-shirts, hoodies, lanyards, drumming paraphernalia, shiny musical instruments, and a metric ton of other branded merchandise), I stopped to try out a new flute.
You might remember that I was about to leave on my dream-fulfilling musical excursion to a flute masterclass in Holland. In fact, as you’re reading this, I’m preparing diligently to return for a 2nd course of study.
At the time I was very satisfied with the instrument I’d been playing. That flute and I had been through thick and thin together for the last 22 years. But when I picked up that shiny new instrument and blew just 8 or 10 notes — and they rang so clear and alarmingly beautiful above the din of 23k drum corps fans shopping — I realized how much my current flute had been holding me back.
And from that tiny moment in time, I became obsessed with the idea of upgrading my instrument on the way to improving my playing technique, and ultimately my performance.
So my question for you today is… what’s holding YOU back?
Are you tolerating painfully slow internet that makes you want to poke out an eye every time you have to research an item for your story? Does your old laptop no longer type the letter “e” or the “@” symbol without poking the keys two or three times? Have you been scared to try out various transcription tools or services to speed up your writing… even though you never really learned how to type?
Or maybe you’ve been polishing the opening chapters of your book for oh, say… decades… without ever finishing the first draft to find out how your story ends?
If any of these sound like you, I’m here to say it might be time for you to consider an upgrade. Maybe you should research the availability of faster internet (at home, or a coffee shop where you could work), or take the plunge on a new keyboard or even the whole computer, or finally look into Dragon software or Rev.com transcription services.
Or… to find a writing coach who’ll guide you through the morass of your first draft Vomit Pass, and help you navigate the scary waters of editing (which might be considerably less fun than the Sea of Merch), so you can finally get that book out of your dresser drawer and into print.
So what’ll it be, friend? What’s holding you back from reaching your dreams? I’d love to hear your answer. Comment below!
Of course, this flute upgrade wasn’t in my budget… hence the original feeling that this was a HUGE mistake… but after spending time at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, I was able to find a beautiful new instrument that plays like a dream… and cost only a fraction of what I expected to pay.
Just goes to show that we don’t always have to “make do”. It’s always worth asking the questions to find out how your life could be better and more fulfilling!