Aug. 18, 2015

The Book, Part I

The War of Art:  Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield.

Whatever you do, organ scholar, remember this title and get a copy for yourself.  Read it first for general style.  Then go back and read it a second time slowly, for content.  Keep it handy and read through it from time to time, again and again.  

If you've ever thought about doing something new to uplift yourself to a higher level of attainment, growth, or development ... something that makes use of your natural gifts such as by enrolling in a new educational program or study, beginning a new exercise or weight loss program, starting a new hobby or taking the hobby you have to the next level, constructing a work of art, or beginning to build something you always wanted to build ... but you don't have the slightest idea how to break through what's holding you back ... this book will not only help; it will change your life.

It will explain why you may be having second thoughts or feeling restless, unhappy, or even afraid about contemplating that next creative project, where those negative thoughts come from, how to unplug yourself from the grid of self-doubt, and how to win against it.  The language this author uses is a bit frisky at times, but there's no finer description of it in print.  In my case it showed me what was standing in my way from writing some effective, useful, and interesting pieces for the pipe organ, something uplifting that I've always wanted to do, wished I could do, and had myself convinced that I couldn't do.

Because I read this book and acted upon what it had to say, I was able to give to the world no less than 4 significant collections of organ music [See blog, Free Stuff].  Every one of these pieces in interesting in its own way, useful, and produced from start to finish, in just a matter of days using the methods described on this blog.  The same or better is possible for you.

If you've always wished you could write your own music (and you have it in you, you just have to know how to identify what's holding you back, how to win against it, and the craft of music writing which can be learned), then I wouldn't encourage you to write a single note of music until you read this book.  Author Seth Godin has written another book called Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, which devotes an entire chapter to the same incredibly important topic [See blog, The Book, Part II].

Lao Tzu is famously quoted for saying, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  An organ scholar could do far worse than look upon the required reading of The War of Art and Linchpin as being Steps One and Two along that journey for themselves. 

(con't in Part II)