Getting behind

October 15, 2006

"Waiting for the Rain to Stop" by Roger Bourland

One of the challenges in being a composer is that I put off things “until I finish the piece.” Those things can include email correspondence that doesn’t seem urgent and builds up to 100s of emails before I realize how overwhelmed I am. Being obsessed with working on a piece of music, I sometimes dash off poorly thought out emails in hopes keeping up, only to find later that my short comments were completely misunderstood and now I have to do damage control. Bookkeeping tasks (we use Quicken) get months behind; my sales tax for my publishing company is late. I now know myself well enough to put all my bills on automatic payment so that when I’m in my composing state, I don’t have to worry about late payments.

The other thing composers have to do from time to time is to not go out to parties or movies. Or go to beautiful places and stay in your room and compose, not doing the normal tourist thing. People assume we are just being anti-social, but if they knew how much work it is to put down a gazillion inspired notes, they would better understand. I also think about the friends I’ve not seen for a long time, and miss, and worry that they think I don’t love them any more.

For the past week, I’ve been gathering every program, review, piece of lost music, academic or professional achievement that I’ve done in the past 23 years and putting them in order and typing them into my RB database, with the intent of exporting my career in bibliographic format. Sheesh, what a lot of work, and as I said the other day, a lot of memories. I’ll only have to do this once. But it’s overdue and I’ve got to get it done so that I can get my life back. [This has nothing to do with composition, rather, a promotion at work, which is always a good thing.] When I finish this project, I’m hoping to take a composition break, and just teach and write words for a while.


[Photo: “Waiting for the Rain to Stop” by Roger Bourland]

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