I’ve been trying to get a lot more out of my practice time. Even on days when I’m exhausted, I’ve been practicing three or four hours. As awful as it may seem, I try to drive myself to the point where I either feel like I’m about to cry, or feel like I’m about to throw up. I’m not exactly sure why I’m feeling such an urgency to work hard. It’s probably because I know I’m capable of being a good player and it is frustrating to play at less than my full potential.
When I’m in the zone for months at a time, I don’t like to allow myself to slip up and miss a day of practicing. Once I miss a day, that seems to justify missing a few more days here and there, and all of a sudden my routine is shot full of holes.
One other thing about being in the zone is that I begin to ignore things like physical discomfort and exhaustion. However, when I’m tired and hungry, my practice time is not as effective.
Today I woke up around 6 to walk Truffles and make it to the Unity church in Raleigh for an 8am rehearsal. Between services, I ate a few chips with salsa. When I got home around 1:30, I resolved to practice until 5:30pm, at which point I would grab a quick shower and make it to my gig at 6pm. So I did my full practice routine this afternoon.
When I got to the gig, I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything all day except for a few chips around 10am. I ordered some food and quickly ate right before the gig started, and it felt pretty awful to be stuffed right before playing. I felt like I played terribly (still had a good time though!).
I probably should have taken a 2-hour nap and eaten something, then do an abbreviated practice routine. When you are in the ‘zone’, it’s tough to justify taking time off even when you should.