stapsdoes101things: detail of a hymnbook page showing hymn no. 101, tune 'St Bernard' (101music)
[personal profile] stapsdoes101things
1 November 2011

One is terminal; one is temporary. I am not working myself up over either of them, because I can see a way to make progress on both.

Firstly, I've crashed and burned on the 1001-words-a-day in November thing. I did ten days straight writing 1001 words, most of them on the Prisoner of Zenda fanfic (which needs a title, incidentally, quite apart from the other ten thousand words and a large chunk of plot). Then I made significant progress on another goal - walking thirteen miles from Halling to Maidstone and crossing the Medway with my mum - and that took the whole of yesterday. Usually I'd write on the train out to my starting point, and (if I wasn't too exhausted) on the train back from my finishing point, but we drove, so that didn't work. As a result, I wrote absolutely nothing yesterday, so that puts November out of the window. I will keep trying to hit those 1001 words, though, because that 10 December deadline isn't going away, and because the more I write now, the more of a habit I'll have got into when the time comes to retry this goal.

The other one I failed a long time ago, and somehow didn't manage to tell you about. This is goal 76: spend an hour playing my cello once a month. It was difficult right from the get-go, for this reason: I find playing on my own dull in the extreme. I managed December and January; in February I had a friend staying, and she brought her flute down and we did some Handel duets, and that was much more fun. After that it really fell by the wayside.

In July I went home for a week. I went along to a rehearsal of the Isle of Wight Scottish Fiddlers, with whom I used to play cello. And my goodness, was I jealous. I wanted to be playing. I wanted my cello. So, you see, it's not that I don't really want to do it. It's, um, that I'm disorganised, and lazy, and playing alone simply isn't motivation enough.

Next Saturday the Scottish Fiddlers have their silver anniversary party. I'm going. I'm taking my cello. In fact, my mother took it with her when she left today - and, as we were loading it into the car, one of my neighbours came past and said, 'Oh, another cellist! I thought I was the only one!' We got chatting, and it turns out that she plays at one of the churches in town of a Sunday night, and would really like someone to play some duets with. So, yes - eek. I had better get playing again.

I know the answer to this. It's probably 'cheating' to change a goal you've already failed, but I am pretty sure that if I change it to 'find a group near me in which to play cello' I will end up taking a step towards the original, unstated, aim: 'play cello more and get better as a result'. And that will be better than abandoning the entire thing.

This will still be a significant challenge. I don't drive, and we don't have a car anyway, so it will be difficult to get to rehearsals. Where there's a will, however, there's a way, and if I could carry my cello up the second-steepest hill on Exeter University's Streatham Campus every Tuesday, I can at least walk into the centre of Woking.

Wish me luck, everybody.

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