On my Little Hater

My friend KJ shared this video with her readers, and I think the message here is an incredibly resonating one for creative people out there of all types. Go on, watch the video.

"I'm sure there are people who wake up every day confident that everyone wants to look at their face and listen to them talk, but I'm not one of those people. When I'm in the groove, and getting work done, and feeling like I'm making the connection with you guys out there... it feels natural to keep showing up and maintaining that connection. But if I go too long without putting work in, and it feels like that connection is broken, there's a little voice inside my head that starts playing tricks on me, and starts trying to convince me that the connection was never really there. And I think this is true for most creative people, that we each have a little hater that lives inside our heads, and tries to set up traps for us."

He asks his listeners to post in their own blogs what their “Little Haters” sound like and what they say to try to dissuade creative output.

I definitely have a Little Hater. Since practicing is the most relevant for this blog, I’ll focus on that – but I get the same arguments from her in all areas of my life.

Back in music school at the RLMU, I practiced every day because I had to or I would fall behind. Nowadays, my practice habits are less intensive, but I still try to keep up with things (more on practice habits later). And when I fall behind –as I did especially during the end of my second year at the RLMU – on the first day, my Little Hater would tell me: “You’d better practice twice as long tomorrow to make up for it.”

Then, Procrastination would hit me:
I need to block out three hours in a day to practice, but with two majors worth of courseloads and two minors and friends and the band and the allure of the Internet, where am I going to find those three hours? Certainly not today, but maybe tomorrow when I have fewer classes.
Then Uselessness had its turn:
I haven’t practiced in four days. What good will it do me now? I’ll never catch up in time for my lesson, I might as well go totally unprepared and impress Joe (my instructor) with my sightreading skills.

(Note: this never worked.)

Nowadays, the cycle is less vicious but just as potent. I’ve found myself having to change my practice routines to accommodate the words of the Little Hater, but by acknowledging what it is that the Little Hater is telling me, I’ve been able to both fight her and find better ways to tackle projects and problems in my life. Look for a blog post next week on how I've changed my practice habits to try to work around these issues.

What does your Little Hater sound like?

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