No, this is not a post about New Year’s resolutions. It is rather a post to let you know what has been on my mind over the past months…
As some of you might now, I had planned to publish an online singing course in the near future. Some of the modules are near finished. All the while I was working on them, I more and more got the feeling that this wasn’t what I wanted to do. Not because I don’t enjoy doing that type of work or sharing knowledge, but because I have a genuine feeling that there must be hundreds of similar courses out there, and that I don’t want to offer “just another one” that doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Maybe this is a silly notion, because everyone approaches things slightly differently. It’s just that I don’t feel “slightly differently” is enough to warrant yet another self-proclaimed reinvention of the wheel; we get enough of that already.
I am, in both the good and the bad sense, a perfectionist. I know myself well enough to understand that I will start to endlessly procrastinate over things I cannot get 100% behind. This is simply too big a project with too many working hours involved to do it half-heartedly. You don’t do well what you cannot fully commit to, for whatever reason. So I decided to finish the modules that are nearly there anyway (no point in wasting work that has already been done and might interest or help a few of you), but that’ll be it.
I would rather focus my energy on my two main areas of interest:
- my work in studio, online and University settings, be it with individuals or groups
- my ongoing research in the field of performance psychology/anxiety and artistic identity, and its application (both in person and via self-help resources)
Especially the latter is something I have been feeling extremely passionate about for a long time. I know that this, albeit being more of a niche, is what I really want to do, and what I will therefore also do best. It is time to stop trying to be too many things to too many people and to move away from a course concept that is generalist instead of specialist. Getting clear about this has been a long process, and now the decision is made (and published!), it feels like a massive relief.
I feel excited about sharing the ongoing progress of my work with you, and to eventually offer a course that, although maybe not as interesting to as many people, will be offering something helpful to those who have been longtime sufferers of performance nerves and anxiety, stage fright and artistic identity crises.
Don’t worry though: I will still write and broadcast about all things singing-related: There will be plenty of blog posts, live streams and online “drop in clinics” in 2018.
I am looking forward to working with students old and new, and I wish you all the best for 2018 – with or without resolutions…
© Petra Borzynski 2017
I really like what you’re saying here. To repeat the whole thing in a comment would be redundant. I’m a perfectionist in both senses too. (No surprise that I struggle with social anxiety). I go all in on different styles and themes for art. (Artistic ADHD, maybe ? :^) Melissa Dinwiddie calls it being a ‘passion pluralite’. I know this may not be quite the same thing as you’re talking about but I do agree that narrowing down that niche more, at the given time in one’s life, is so important. So… simply put, for what it’s worth, I am in total agreement. Thank you for your thoughts!
Thanks for your comment, Kevin.
In my case (as with many performing artists), being a bit of a people pleaser is also part of the problem. I enjoy what I do, and I also want to help, which can on occasion lead to try to do too much and silence that inner voice that is trying to tell me where I really should be going.
Last but not least: In today’s world, abandoning projects seems to have a whiff of failure about it. It takes courage to let go and trust our instincts. They’re usually there for a reason – whether they’re telling us to do it all or narrow it down (which might also change throughout our lives).