The more widely I read, the more I want to write and yet the more nervous I am about my public writing.
Strange admission coming from a blogger, right? My desire to read and write is nearly as strong as my parallel desire to listen to and play music. Although I don't recall it, perhaps I was once nervous about playing in public too. This past weekend, I played publicly on Saturday and was largely happy with my performance. I then heard jazz trumpeter Warren Vache play on Sunday. If the order had been reversed, my weekend would have been a parallel to today's reading vs. writing experience.
Earlier today I was engrossed reading essays from Christopher Hitchens last book - "Arguably". Hitchens was a formidable intellect and terrific writer, comparable in his field to Vache in music. Reading Hitchens made me want to write. But I discarded a couple of blog ideas I'd had before I began reading; Hitchens had raised my bar. So, I wondered: How would I have viewed my performance or what would have changed in my playing if I'd heard Vache on Saturday and then played on Sunday? What techniques do you use to raise the bar with your passions?