I’ve always had problems when it comes to practising. My motivation lacked, and I always found something to procrastinate with instead – redesign my website, write a blog, rearrange the spice cupboard etc etc.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, as I know many people really want to practise (myself included), have the means to (myself included), but just can’t work out why they don’t (I have now, and I want to share it with you)!
I had a drum lesson recently in which I spoke to my teacher, and he said that I have to find something that motivates and inspires me. That could be listening to a certain drummer, a particular song, reading a book or even looking at a piece of art. I know for me personally, although that might motivate and inspire me for a certain amount of time, it won’t be constant and consistent enough to keep me constant and consistent in my practice routine. It did get me thinking though. I remember at one time I was practicing for at least 3 hours a day whilst having other obligations, and I kept to that 5 days a week for 7 years. What was different now?
That magical time was when I was at secondary school, from the day I started playing (age 11) to the day I left (age 18). Now what was the difference? What made me get up early to play an hour before school, an hour at lunch and an hour after school? Then it hit me! Accountability!
Every day I would meet my best friend Cherisse on the wall outside school and we would go and practise together. I knew that if I woke up at 6am and was really unmotivated, tired, and couldn’t be bothered, I’d picture Cherisse on that wall freezing, or it raining, with her soaked through looking miserable, and I’d be up. The thought of leaving her waiting, letting her down, and spoiling her practise time was more than enough to have me in the shower quick as a flash and on my way.
Obviously now is different – I can’t have Cherisse waiting on the steps to my studio every morning so I get up and practise – but I thought there must be some sort of equivalent. That’s when I got the idea to start an accountability club on Instagram. Every day I post up a picture of me before, after or during my practise session on Instagram with the hashtags #1houraday #practise #accountability. Anyone who also has the same problem practising gets a tag (they just have to ask), and consequently we help motivate each other. As soon as I think ‘ah I can’t be bothered today’ or ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I’m too tired’, I think of all those people sitting on that metaphorical wall, looking miserable and having the perfect excuse to not practise too.
I urge you think back to a time you practised, what motivated you, and adapt it to today if you need to. If you’re similar to me and are motivated by feeling responsible for others as well as yourself, then join the #Accountability club. Follow me on Instagram, and shoot me a message/comment and I’ll add you to my daily practice picture.
We’re all in this together, so let’s motivate each other!