Like many people, I tend to gravitate toward what comes easily to me. Writing, singing, and learning about spirituality fell into that category early on in my life. What has not been quite so automatic, however, is playing guitar at a performance level. I’ve learned and practiced enough to write and play chord structures for my original tunes but, beyond that, I haven’t reached an intuitive place with it. Instead I enlist my dear friend and professional musician, Troy Fannin, to accompany me with all the frills.
For a while I just accepted I had guitar-playing limitations, and instead focused on working hard at what came naturally — lyrics, melodies, harmonies, stories, theology, etc. I’ve realized, however, there is value in making time to meet with the very capabilities that challenge me. Now I make “dates” with my potential skills on a regular basis, in order to form a patient relationship with them. Together we keep reasonable expectations: progress, not perfection.
Today I play guitar with delight for the learning process, and I leave behind any self-imposed burden of reaching some arrival point. A natural byproduct of this approach is discovering new abilities that end up enhancing my songwriting after all. I still don’t aim to be a concert guitarist, yet I’m having fun experiencing the creative growth that can happen when I simply show up. That in mind, I recommend lining up a date with some possibilities in your life. May you be inspired!