Why I Don’t Speak Cello

On Tuesday morning, a cello sat on the sidewalk outside my house. I considered engaging in a musical conversation, but instead rushed off to work.

On Wednesday morning, the sidewalk looked up at me with empty eyes.

**   **   **   **   **   **

I have a confession to make. Lately, I haven’t been practicing what I preach on this blog. Circumstances in my life at the moment have had me working long hours six or seven days a week, every week, for a while. Life has been particularly stressful. And I haven’t been maintaining a creative practice.

This blog itself does give me a bit of an outlet. But I haven’t devoted any time at all to what I call my soul-writing. The fragments of fiction and poetry, the phrases of metaphor and memory my Muse hands to me. Moments of creativity that may become pieces of a larger project or may just feed my deepest self by merely existing.

But this past weekend, I didn’t work at all, taking two days in a row off for the first time in quite a while. And guess what happened? My Muse took the opportunity to begin nudging me. Or maybe he’s been nudging me all along, and I just haven’t been listening. At any rate, a couple of metaphorical micro-stories flowed into my mind. And once I started writing them down, more arrived.

Perhaps not surprisingly, they all speak to issues of creativity and writing. I’ve shared one above, and I plan to continue sharing them and write about the issue each describes. “Why I Don’t Speak Cello” illustrates my current period of overworked stress. Something extraordinary sits on the periphery of my life, and I’ve been refusing to engage with it. Creativity is always extraordinary, you know.

My life hasn’t slowed down, in spite of the fact that I actually had a real weekend. And my stress level remains high. But this little story my Muse handed me reminds me that I can still take 15 minutes to talk to the cello before I rush to work.

15 minutes a day. That’s how you learn to speak cello—or become a writer, or maintain a creative practice—no matter how much crazy life throws at you.

And if you do ignore the cello until it disappears, just remember to stop and talk to the timpani and the trombone when they arrive.


STOP STRANGLING YOUR MUSE!
I’ll help you slay your Perfectionism Dragon,
Herd your Inner Critics into a soundproof room,
Send your Procrastination Monster whimpering back to his cave,
And defuse all your creative blocks.

To schedule a free 30-minute telephone creativity coaching session with me, or for more information, click here.

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9 Responses to “Why I Don’t Speak Cello”


  1. 1 Cassandra Jade November 23, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Great post. I loved reading this and I cna really relate. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 3 slacker-chick November 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Beautifully said Sandy – I love the image of the “sidewalk looking up [with] empty eyes”. I’m glad you have plenty of work (ka-ching!) but hope things get back to normal soon.

    xo
    Rochelle

  3. 5 Heather Conroy November 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Nice to know that your muse keeps up with your busy schedule. I find that I get so much more done when I am busy.

  4. 6 K a b l o o e y November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, your muse packs such a lot into that little story. It really resonated with me (no musical pun intended, but what the hell — it’s clearly there) because of both subject matter and specific detail. A cello would definitely have same effect on me if I passed it by. And sidewalks see everything.

  5. 7 stranglingmymuse November 25, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for your comments, Heather and Kablooey!

    Heather, I’m more productive when I’m busy, but not necessarily more creative. And, for me, the crazy, stress-filled kind of busy really hampers my creativity. Unless I stay firmly committed to finding moments to create.

    Kablooey, I’m glad you like the story and that it resonates with you. It, obviously, came straight from my deepest self and speaks to an issue that continually pops up in my life. And, yes, sidewalks do see everything, don’t they?

    –Sandy

  6. 8 Susan @ 2KoP December 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Beautiful imagery. I wish, I wish.


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Sandy

Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

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