It seems I am something of a music blog lately! It’s been an interesting week at work, since we got all of our computers upgraded, and it’s going to be an interesting weekend, since my community choir has our concert. In the vein of odd connections my mind makes, the process of getting ready for a concert reminds me quite a bit of the process of getting ready to send a short story out into the world.
Both writing and singing depend on working hard on first mastering the story or song and then polishing little elements to the level that you have the time and skill for. They also both require that you stop. Choir is a little different because you have a deadline, rather the usual case when you’re starting out with stories that you can send out whenever you want to. You can still ruin a concert, however, by obsessing over the little details you’re missing so much that you suck the soul right out of the song. Most dress rehearsals I’ve ever attended have been about the director telling us to let the little things go, and feel the emotion of the piece. Convey the emotion to the audience, and they won’t notice one wrong note down in the tenor part.
There’s an interesting sort of cross-pollination writing and singing have had for me. It was writing that taught me to have a switch in my head to go from seeing the weaknesses of a piece to seeing the good parts. Once I flip it, I can send off a story, and even read it later without dying of shame I missed something or other. What I’m working on bringing over from singing is finding the feel and emotional soul of a story, so I can focus on that at the very end, whatever small weaknesses. It’s a process, since while I have an intuitive feel for the emotion of a song, usually, I haven’t developed that to the same subconscious degree with stories. It’s all conscious, which can sometimes work and sometimes trip you up.