My partner’s much more of an artist than I will ever be. She’s one of those people who gets goose bumps when she hears a beautiful piece of music – something that only happens to me with a couple of Cure tracks and a dance tune.
Over a year ago, she mentioned a desire to doodle, so I bought her some pencils. She suddenly started producing wonderful, abstract drawings that make me say “Wow” whenever I see what comes out of those little bits of coloured graphite.
Recently, she managed to get me to join her on her keyboard (yes, she plays piano and composes, too). I hadn’t touched one in over twenty years and all I could remember was some of the right hand of Chariots of Fire, which I taught myself during a summer holiday. I never had any lessons.
That was it: she decided that I have an aptitude for the piano and she’s been encouraging me to learn. This week, she asked me what I wanted to play. My answer wasn’t a tune, it was an example of how well I want to be able to play. It was this:
There’s nothing like setting your sights incredibly high when you can’t even read music. But then, why not? Everyone has to have a goal in mind when they do something, and it might as well be one that’s right up there in the clouds, rather than round the next corner.
The same applies to writing and freelance work, I reckon. Buzzword fans would call it “setting a stretch goal” or something equally horrible. I’d call it pushing yourself to try something scary.
Why not aim for something much better than you usually do, or in a completely different subject area? Why not send that article to a print magazine instead of leaving it in a Word document on your computer? You could be the next Chico Marx of journalism!
Actually, that might not be such a good nickname, come to think of it.
Have a look at what you’re writing right now. Is there a way you could change it to make it better? Is there a creative new angle you could try? Could you type it with an apple?