I've been a musician nearly all of my life. I started playing the violin right before I turned four. I can't even remember a time I didn't play the violin. It's a deeply ingrained part of my life and something that contributed to my choice to study music in college. When I arrived at that crucial life crossroad I realized that if I didn't choose to study music, I would probably stop playing forever (or at least make it hard to take up). I chose to keep going.
I've never regretted my choice. To this day I find music fascinating and by studying it in college it landed me in a career that I thoroughly enjoy. Teaching the violin is something I feel like I was meant to do and I realize how rare that is when it comes to jobs. Most people are not that lucky.
But as much as I connect with teaching, I realize more and more than I've never connected with a musician's calling. I've never been a good practicer. In college people would camp out in a practice room for hours like it was their job. I put equal amounts of effort into avoiding said practice room. I understand the need for practice but I never felt any sort of pressing desire to practice that intensely. I didn't care, frankly.
Now that I'm out of school, I'll do the occasional gig for a fun change of pace. But in general I view gigs as more of a chore than anything else. Serious giggers practically live in their car as they lug their equipment from job to job, coming home at crazy hours from crazy-long rehearsals. Again, I enjoy doing this a few times a year. But on a regular basis? No way, Jose.
Writing? Now that's a different story.
I love the writing lifestyle. Tell me to practice my violin for six hours and my soul curdles. But work on my current work-in-progress for six hours? Heck yeah. I love camping out in coffee shops and tuning out the world as I get in a writing groove. I love sipping tea as I work on blogs or editing. I write every day because I feel like I need to, not because I have to.
This realization was a strange one for me to process because I always wished I had that kind of connection with music. I enjoy music and it's important to me. But it never became something I needed to do.