Do you want to learn more about writing, including receiving marketing tips and tricks, deals on valuable workshops and retreats, and time management hacks? Join the VIP Writer’s Club! You’ll receive free VIP access to an online novel-writing course just for signing up and can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.Become a VIP Reader!
Interested in free books, exclusive bonus content, and VIP early access to Jess’ upcoming projects? Then sign up here to become a VIP Reader. You’ll immediately receive a free copy of May Day, the first in the Mira James comic caper mysteries, just for signing up!
The first-Wednesday-of-the-month siren is going off, the world outside my window is covered in snow, my dog is farting at my feet, and I am happy. Warm-heart, soft-smile happy, and it's because I'm doing what Prince asked.
If you recall, he visited me in a dream a couple months back and told me I had to learn guitar. You'd think a command from Afterlife Prince would be enough, but I'm 47. I'm working two full-time jobs, one of them--writing--as creative as a person can get. I decided not to learn to play guitar, or more accurately, to store that dream in the "maybe someday" file where I keep that pair of jeans that fit me when I was 23 and my cross stitch supplies.
Then I posted the dream to Facebook, expecting everyone to laugh about it with me.
You all mostly did, and I appreciated that. But I also received an email from a friend who read that post. Her email was titled "Top 5 reasons for Guitar." The list was hilarious and personal and spot on, ending with: "Prince told you to do it. I mean, come on, who can argue with Prince?! Side note, your fingers will hurt at the beginning, but don’t let it distract you. Just keep going."
She didn't stop with the email. She kept noodging me, this Nadine did. So I paid to have the guitar tuned. That was something, right? I could coast on that for a while? Nope, she sent me a little diagram of a chord to learn. I thought it'd be a good idea to learn that one, so I saved the email, but other emails and life piled on top of it. Then, one night a couple weeks ago I drank too much wine and Skyped with Nadine. She showed me exactly how to play that chord. Yesterday, I opened up a YouTube video and learned another, and today, I played my first song: Buffalo Springfield's, "For What It's Worth." (Side note: if you are looking for a timely song, holy hell.)
Muddling through that song, singing along off key as I strummed, was one of the most exhilarating things I've done in months, maybe a whole year. I feel like I got all new skin. I can't stop smiling. My fingers are grooved (see photo above), my skills are green, but I made music. I made music!!!
You know that voice that tells us not to be frivolous with our time and attention, that we're too old/poor/young/tall/short/skinny/fat to learn something new, the one masquerading as "responsibility" and "maturity?" It's full of shit. In fact, a good rule of thumb is that the discomfort you feel at learning something new is commensurate with the rewards you'll reap when you dive in. Find your Nadine, tell her your dream, and get to work. I kinda think that's the point of all of this.
Big love to you!
Join the Discussion