A “new disease.” That’s the term vocal students in my college attached to a particular, and distressing, affliction we all suffered at one time or another. It happened whenever one of our voice teachers added a new technique to the already-long list of “Things to Think About While Singing.” It seemed that concentrating on posture, support, breath control, placement, pitch, duration, dynamics, phrasing, tempo and oh yes — the words to sing — was not enough. It also became necessary to regulate emotion. Too much and we risked ruining the pitch. Too little and we came across as automatons — brilliant but lifeless.
I know a writer who signed contracts for 13 books in one year and another who sold 11. Of course, these writers didn’t write all those books in a year. No. With no promise of reward and despite rejection, each of them trudged through years of effort to produce one manuscript after another. As a result, the reward for their diligence arrived in multiples.
Whether you aspire to publication or not, the principle is the same.
A certain person whose identity will remain concealed in the mists of anonymity complained to me repeatedly that he had no time to read. When I noticed he had no difficulty finding time to watch television, sometimes for hours on end, I mentioned this as gently as possible. To his credit, he took my point. His television is cold and dark more often now, and he reads on a regular basis.
Too often we tell ourselves what we can’t do.