Back in the old days, people were encouraged to attend to daily prayers. Not just encouraged, bullied into it almost. So I have a hard time with the idea of “daily writing.” I’ll write when I damn well please, thank you very much.
But then I think of pianists. They need to play the piano, daily, for weeks and months and years to become merely proficient in their musicianship, much less able to say that they’re accomplished pianists.
I watched the NFL playoffs this month with open-mouthed awe and listened to the stories of some of these incredible players. They became incredible by natural ability and then hours of daily practice throwing the ball, lifting weights, running sprints, building “kicking legs” and “tackling arms” since they were pre-teens. Day after day, month after month, year after year. Whether a quarterback, a wide receiver, or an offensive lineman, these guys only made it in their profession by spending their life – practicing.
And perhaps the most athletic and trained of all – ballet dancers. This December, I witnessed the Nutcracker prince accomplish a ballon, the appearance of briefly floating in the air. The snowflake princess’s pointe technique was superlative, in which she supported all of her body weight on the tips of fully extended feet. Do you know how difficult that is? And how many years of hard-core practice it took to get there?
Then I think of my friend, who is training for a marathon, again. She gave herself, and her ailing kidney, a year and a half off from the last marathon, watching her body become sluggish and her figure add the weight she had run off to such effort. Now, six weeks back into daily training, her face is rosy and her step lighter.
Will my writing become rosier, my fingers lighter if I succumb to daily practice? Will I become a more accomplished writer, by forcing myself to put my words on paper (and computer), every day? At some point in time, will someone read my stories and say “incredible,” because of the extra effort I’ve made in my life to write daily?
Do you have a daily practice?