Last week was our first Minnesota Brass color guard practice since auditions. I got to video the new portion of the audition routine, and this week I’m trying to learn it before practice again. So off and on, I’ve been out in the backyard (which has alternated between too snowy, too swampy, and too dog poopy) working on it.
I am black and blue. My shoulders ache. I have a painful lump behind my right ear.
When I was at Target, I bought some backup mouth guards for my daughter for lacrosse. After a second, I tossed one in the cart for me, too. Tossing a flag (on a metal pole) while walking, kneeling, turning, and sitting on the ground can be dangerous. Especially with the sun high in the sky and the wind whipping the silk around, blinding me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to just put my arms up, shielding my face as the flag hurtles toward me, because I can’t tell where the pole is in that mess of rippling silk. Which explains the bruises on my forearms.
So in the next couple of days, my daughter and I will boil our mouth guards and fit them to our teeth. I’m sure this will be a fashionable new look for my backyard practice!
It got me thinking about writing and how I’m feeling kind of beat up about that lately, too. I kind of wish there were a protective mouth guard or other gear I could wear as a writer to ward off some of the aches and pains that come with the writing life, like not selling a trade book lately.
My biggest protection recently has come from the encouragement of other writers as I’ve shared small successes. I know I need to be able to encourage myself, though, too, and not be fishing for compliments. So the first piece of protective gear I’m going to don is a monthly list of small successes. On the back on my monthly status sheet, I’m going to write down everything that makes me feel good about my writing during a month. I feel like Stuart Smalley–ack!–but I’m even going to say that I’m going to look at my little list each day before I start work. Whether there’s one thing on it or ten things, I’m hoping it will be a pick-me-up to focus on the positive for a few seconds before I start.
What’s YOUR best piece of writer’s protective gear? Or what piece do you wish existed?
Here’s my Minnesota Brass journey so far, if you have no idea what I’m talking about:>)