A story: The legendary composer and pianist Paderewski was staying at a hotel during a concert appearance. Down the hall from his suite was another guest who grew annoyed at the sound of someone practicing simple piano exercises over and over. After several days passed, not knowing the identity of the piano player, the annoyed person finally knocked on the famous artist’s door.
Paderewski listened patiently to the other guest’s complaint, and then introduced himself. Seeing that the guest was embarrassed, the artist explained the reason for his discipline in practicing the basics. The only way to complete mastery of music, he said, was through constant obedience to the most elementary musical rules.
“Harmony cannot be acquired in any other way,” Paderewski noted. “It’s is necessary that I practice my exercises every day. If I miss a day, I notice it. If I miss two days, my wife notices it. If I miss three days, my audience notices it!”
Love this anecdote! It captures so much about what we as creatives need to bring to our own craft every day:
Devotion to bringing the best that we have to our readers.
Discipline in mastering the basic elements of storytelling.
Derringer-do—courage in our willingness to write dangerously.
And now, inspired and emboldened by a great artist’s commitment to his craft, let’s all write on!
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