I'm pretty good about shrugging off those negatives. I mean, I know what to do when the dementors attack me in the classroom; my coworkers are supportive, and I have the best students in the classroom and in the tutoring center! So... not a lot of beating myself up there.
I probably could be a better writer. I often need to remember why I write or take a step away from criticism I've received, but I'm generally good about being kind to myself. Writing is a process. And writing a book is an even more complicated and longer process. I'm getting there...
Drumming in spurts
The other day, a friend asked me how long I've been playing the drums. I hesitated because I wasn't sure where to start in sharing my drumming story. Do I say I've been playing since 7th grade? No, that makes it sound like I played all through junior high and high school, which I didn't.
Do I say that I started drumming in college? It was only one class. I wouldn't want him to think I got a degree in drumming or even joined the college drum line. I didn't.
I ended up saying something like, "Well, I first learned in 7th grade, but didn't get serious about it until I joined Drum Ambition in 2016." But even as I said it, I knew that wasn't the right answer. Yes, Drum Ambition helped me a ton! They provided consistent lessons that I could afford and watch in my own time, but I bought my first set in 2011 and learned some stuff with Drumscore and other great drumming websites before starting online lessons.
The truth is, I drum in spurts. Sometimes every day. Other times once a week. Sometimes once a month or twice a year...
Who are drummers anyhow?
I used to think that having a drum set meant I was a drummer. True enough, it's a great piece of evidence, especially when the neighbors come over, see the set, and ask "who plays the drums?"
But what if I haven't played in a long time? Am I still a drummer?
What if it just sits there for a month or two while I'm surrounded by piles of essays to be graded--- or I find other excuses not to get behind the set? Am I still a drummer?
When my drums are calling, and I roll over and take a nap on the couch, either because I'm sick or don't feel like practicing...am I drummer?
When I'm in one of these slumps, I feel like I'm avoiding "eye contact" with my drum set. Like it will give me a long lecture about how long it's been since I've played, and (by the way), you're really behind in your exercises! Hope you still remember them!...
A "hobbyist" drummer
I used to think that to be a drummer, you had to be in a band or do gigs. True, I'd love to perform more often, but that just hasn't happened for me, yet. Yes, I have played (more like goofed around) with friends that play guitar or other instruments, but I've never been in a band (besides 7th grade!).
Am I drummer?
Yes! In fact, Simon, my drum teacher, would call me a "hobbyiest" drummer. I had never heard of that! But that's what I am. I play for fun. I've taken some instruction, and I can read music. I have a few favorite tunes that I can play along with. But it's a hobby. It means I do it when I feel like it.
My husband's hobby is dirt biking. He used to do it a lot in high school, but only really does it about once a year with his cousin now. Maybe twice a year. When he's asked what his favorite hobby is, he always puts dirt biking on the list. Just because he doesn't do it every weekend doesn't mean he doesn't ride dirt bikes. Could it be true with my drumming? Yes!
I'm what you'd call a "hobbyist" drummer.