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Lesson From the Keyboard (think music!)

By now, most of you know that I’m involved in this 30-day blogging challenge, sponsored by my good friend and teacher, Connie Ragen Green, from Santa Clarita, CA.  Being a lover of words and writing in general, the challenge isn’t about the writing, but about the discipline of actually doing it everyday.  When we started 9 days ago,  I was scrambling to make sure I “did my work” and I had to make myself remember, because I’ve learned if you get behind, you’re toast; it’s dawg-gone hard to catch up.

But something interesting has happened on this 9th day.  I found myself at my computer, sitting down to write, sort of automatically.  For the past several days, I haven’t been fearful of forgetting to write my blog.  It’s become something I just DO…like brushing my teeth.

In this challenge, I’ve met some wonderful new online friends (you know who you are!), and I’ve enjoyed a closer relationship with some folks I met at conferences earlier this year in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.  I wish you would all come to Myrtle Beach (while there’s no humidity) and we could  have a big picnic and hang out late into the day and build a fire on the beach and keep on talking… Ah…maybe one day!

But on to the part about the keyboard lesson.  I was reading a blog post by Geoff Hoff, who is a professional writer.  (Tips On Writing) and he was writing about “Finger Exercises” of a writer, comparing daily exercises of a writer to those of a piano student.   I was a piano teacher for years, and now my daughter, Melissa, is a full time musician and teacher.  We’ve often talked about how I can sit down and play a Bach 2-part Invention after not having seen the music for years, and I haven’t even sat at the piano for over a year.  (It’s sad, but true) It’s called muscle memory and I find it a fascinating part of the human brain function.  Somehow, because I’ve practiced something many years ago, my brain tells my fingers where to go.

This should be encouraging to us in whatever we are currently “practicing.”  First, it should motivate us to keep at it — one day it will become second nature.  And it should also tell us that even when we lay something down because of circumstances or necessity, or maybe just lack of desire, we can pick it up again and we can draw on that “muscle memory.”

I think I might go play the piano now…