She stated that many of her friends have hobbies and other things they love to do outside of their day jobs. For example, her husband (congratulations to her on her recent nuptials, by the way!) is a woodworker who makes boxes, articles of furniture, wine stoppers, even candlesticks. He takes the wood and finds the beauty in the wood, the “colors and shades and swirls and designs” that is present in the bark of the tree, and coaxes it out, making it into something that is both beautiful and serviceable.
Then she wrote about something that struck her as someone who wants to become published:
Everyone acknowledges the work it takes to grow a successful garden or knit a winter scarf or restore an old rocking chair. But people who aren’t writers assume it’s easy. They assume it’s a non-issue. We just pound out words in the form of a story. Anyone could do that.
I agreed. I feel as if people don’t realize just how hard it is. Just sit down and pound out some words — how easy is that?
But then I realized…
The hard part is not getting the words down, but making it art.
It’s never going to be an issue for me to write down words. Most people can string words together to make sentences, and string sentences together to make paragraphs. Whether those sentences or paragraphs make sense together or even alone is a different matter. It’s easy to understand the concept of writing down an idea or statement.
I could always write down words on a piece of paper. But to make those words something people can feel, identify with, and enjoy — to make those words simply understandable — is something that takes a great deal of skill. A great deal of skill that may take years and years to learn. A skill which even now I am learning, and will continue to learn for the rest of my life.
It’s similar with music. People think it’s so easy to just sit down and play a tune at a piano. Anyone can look at notes and plink them out on the keys — how hard is that? I have friends who believe that being a classical musician, or learning to be one, is easy because all you have to do is read music and play the notes right. To them, it doesn’t seem to be a hard area of study because all one has to do is look at the sheet music and simply follow the composer’s instructions.
Not hard, is it?
You’d be surprised.
But it’s not at all about that. There’s expression, articulation, the way a cadence has to be ended just right, the push and lift of the pedal in between chords, so many things. So many things that go into making a piece of a music more than mere sounds, but something that can touch the soul and lift the spirit and to put it in the words of an old cliche, make the world into a better place.
It’s not just reading forte or piano and thinking to yourself that you have to play it loud there, and soft elsewhere, though dynamics are important. It’s not just looking at the tempo and playing it at that tempo, though that is good as well. It’s going deeper than what is written and feeling what the music is really about: gratitude and humility and emotion and a reply.
Things which can be so easily forgotten.
The hard part is not getting the words down or the notes right, but making it art.