Red Lettering

Stories will not be written easily. A story without a heart is dead, and the only place it will get a heart is from the author.

What We Can Learn From Violins: Press Hard, Focus, Things Aren’t What They Seem

Meet Allen, my new (and first) violin.

(Picture Credit: From Amazon, property of Mendini)

After scoring the rosin with a knife, scraping it against the violin’s bow several times, and attempting to tune it (so far, it’s still a work in progress), I learned that things applying to violins also apply to writing sometimes.

You Have to Press Hard

I never realized how hard one must press against the strings to get it to make noise. Of course, I did need to add more rosin, but even now, I wouldn’t have expected to actually need toΒ press hardΒ against the strings to make noise.

In writing, sometimes we have to realize that it’s more difficult to get something correct than we might have previously expected. We’ll need to press hard against one point whenever we thought it would be easy, because if we thought it would be easy, it probably isn’t. We’ll have to work harder at things we thought we would be good at; even if we are good, we always need to be better.

You Have to Keep The Bow in One Place

“Hobby-hopping” is particularly common among writers. Even those who stick to writing tend to move from project to project, never finishing a novel before moving to another.

It’s so easy to let the bow slide all over the violin strings. And yet, that makes it screech. It creates bumps in the road and makes it so that a person will not be able to get better until they stop the habit.

The Rosin Looked Just Like Glass

I wish I could show you a picture, but as I can’t find one, you’ll just have to take my word for it. The rosin came in a small round container, stuck to a bright red velvet-like cloth. It looked like a small, round piece of glass.

And then I dug deeper, scoring it with a knife, and realized that, in the end, it wasn’t a piece of glass. It was rosin. It looked like something not even remotely the same.

Until I looked further.

(I’m sorry for the slightly un-thought out post; when I accidentally post half-finished blog posts as I did with this one, I tend to hurry through finishing them. Also, I have a violin I’d like to get tuned before dark. So I bid you farewell and ask you to comment, and forgive this terribly sloppy post.)

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24 thoughts on “What We Can Learn From Violins: Press Hard, Focus, Things Aren’t What They Seem

  1. It looks amazing!
    Good luck with learning this new instrument. Practice is hard, but pays off in the end. I’ve heard violins are hard to play perfectly without the “squeaks.” I admire you for taking this on! I’m excited to see how this new hobby develops πŸ™‚
    The post was fine, just in case you want to hear any assurance πŸ™‚

    • It is amazing. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty terrible at it, but… I’m learning.
      Thank you. Yes, it’s always nice to know that I’m being understandable when I didn’t really know if I was.

  2. What a beautiful violin! Violins are one of my favorite instruments and I have been wanting to learn it for a while now, but haven’t gotten to get one….
    I also wanted to thank you for following my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

    • I got Allen (heh. I feel so awkward calling a violin by name over the internet…) off of Amazon, for seventy dollars. I know practically nothing about violins, but it appears to be working splendidly.
      I have enjoyed it so far! πŸ™‚ I noticed that you mentioned you were writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling… Is that for the Five Enchanted Roses contest?

      • Haha no prob, my car’s name is Sunshine( once you see a pic, you will know why….)!!!
        And I’d say you got a pretty good deal on “Allen” πŸ˜‰ It is really beautiful!!!
        Yes, my Retelling is for the Five Enchanted Roses contest, I have about 2000 words written so far. Are you entering the contest?

        • I saw a picture, and thought it was really neat that you named your car! I tend toward naming things; I have an old manual typewriter named Angela Jane, and though my mind is drawing a blank at the moment, I’m sure there are other things I’ve named.
          Hopefully I can make Allen sound as good as it looks. πŸ™‚
          Ah, neat! I plan on entering, and have quite a bit planned out, but it’s been a terrible headache about actually starting it. I think it might have something to do with my main character. In the beginning, I could not possibly have cared less about her, but I’m slowly getting to know more about her and starting to care more about her. How is yours going? Are you happy with the way it’s started out?

          • Aaaaa I have always wanted a typewriter!!!! I have also wanted a really, really, really, old sewing machine……but I don’t have any room to put them even if I were to find a good deal.
            And I understand about the character, I had the same issue with the main character in the book I am writing. But as for my Retelling(that is what I am calling it because I don’t have a name yet….), the idea actually came to me very quickly and writing it has been fairly easy. I am very pleased with it thus far and hope it stays smooth sailing….

          • I’ve always loved typewriters, though not so much sewing machines… Though, now that you mention it, having an old one of those would be pretty neat, too. I never thought I would actually have a typewriter, but a friend of my mother’s had two she was selling, and so I bought one of them.
            I had the idea for mine months ago, but because of the contest I’ve started to actually work on it. I think one of the main reason I’ve had so much trouble with my main character is because she doesn’t have very much appreciation for stories–to the extent that she hates them slightly. I’ve only been able to relate to her in that aspect with this particular story. xP Ooh. “Retelling.” I can imagine having a book’s final title actually named that. It would be a neat title. Anyway. I hope it does go smoothly!

          • My friend has a really old sewing machine and she absolutely loves it!!! The cheapest one I found that was actually pretty and in good shape was about $500….
            I didn’t like my character because I had nothing in common with her and could relate to nothing she did. But once I started putting my own personality into her and “being” her, I started liking her much more.
            Retelling is a really cool name!!! I must think about that!!!

          • Wow. The cheapest was $500 dollars? *marks this off of her list of ever being able to buy with a clear conscience* That’s a lot for something that wouldn’t be terribly practical.
            I tend to have trouble relating to characters who are somewhat… I don’t know how to say it. Too eager to let people see them cry? That’s not quite right, but I guess it works for now. My very first main character got the first prize for being able to create a flood with the least provocation, so I think it might be a hold-over from that. I do have some very vulnerable girls, but they’re different. It’s ridiculous how badly I’m saying this, since I call myself a writer.
            I would definitely pick up a book with that name.

          • Yes that is kind of where I sit…..unless I find one on Ebay….
            I understand…I did a writing curriculum that really helped me learn more about my character and get to where I liked her. Though the curriculum did not help me create the best story, it did help me create some awesome characters.

          • Quite.
            What curriculum was this?

          • Its called One Year Adventure Novel, and it is really a great curriculum. It’s created by Daniel something or another…..Anywho, it comes with a textbook, a workbook, and DVDs that a professional author has recorded for each lesson.
            Although the program did help me develop better writing skills, Daniel forgot to mention one thing throughout his curriculum that really bogged me down, that there are two “main” types of writers. “Listers” and “Pantsters”. Obviously Daniel is a “Lister” writer because that is what he is teaching. I however am a “Panster” writer so I found his curriculum very difficult and never finished it….But, if you are a “Lister” then it is a fantastic curriculum!
            I have taken into consideration that you may possibly have no idea what I am talking about, but I did not want to assume that you did not know……so, if you would like me to further explain myself, please say so πŸ™‚

          • Ah-ha. That’s what I thought it was. It seems to be a fairly wide-spread curriculum, but I’ve heard that it’s very plotting-oriented, just as you said. I’ve never heard the term “Listers;” I’ve always heard of the two groups as “Plotters” and “Pantsters.” Would you consider it worth it, even though you didn’t like the way it worked story-wise?

          • Plotters! Yes….that’s what I meant of course!
            And yes I do believe it is worth it. It helped my writing greatly and helped point out possible flaws. There is also a website that you can go on and get different pointers from students who are participating or have already completed the course.

          • Hey, are you using a music book for your violin in addition to YouTube? If so what is it called, I am going to buy a violin and am looking for a good book….

          • you’re going to buy a violin? Awesome! I’m not using a book right now, but this is the first lesson in the course I’m taking on YouTube:… I’ve gotten to lesson five, and it seems to be very good so far.

          • Yes, I am hoping it will be in by the end of the week, but I am not sure.
            I will check that out, thanks so much!!!!

          • Awesome! I would ask which one you got, but, well, I wouldn’t know anything about it, so I shan’t.
            I wish you blessings with this! πŸ™‚

          • Haha! I will post a pic on my blog once I get it in!!!!!!
            And Thanks again!!!

          • Great! I look forward to it! ^-^
            You’re welcome– Let me know if they help!

          • Okie Dokie!!!!

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