The singing room

Imagine that you’re a singer. In your home you build a special room just for your singing. Every day you go into that room and for anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours you practice your singing. Some days are more challenging than others, with big octave shifts, trills or timber exercises. On many days, you go into your singing room twice a day.

For six months you pursue your singing, in your singing room, every day. Besides the time you spend singing, you sacrifice other things that might affect your singing. You miss those things. But, on the other hand, you love singing and you know you have the potential to get a lot better at it if you work hard and stay disciplined. So it’s worth it.

Twice a year, you get the opportunity to perform. You think about these upcoming performances each day, as you sing alone in your room. Those dates keep you going, even when the practicing gets tedious or you hit a patch when it doesn’t seem to be going that well. But overall, it’s going well. You’re getting better and sounding very good as the days, weeks and months roll on. You feel positive about that upcoming date, when you’ll take your talents and skills outside of your room at last.

Your performance date arrives and you take the stage. You’re a little nervous, but that’s normal. You’re confident and know you’re ready. You open your mouth to sing.

What emerges sounds exactly like a startled screech owl.

You’re disturbed, mystified, embarrassed. But mostly, you’re shocked. It’s like being slapped in the face by someone you love. The loss is terrible. But you get over it. Then you pick yourself up and you try again. You pick apart what may have gone wrong and try something new. Something that, while different, has you working just as hard and sacrificing just as much, every day, as you did before.

Six months later, the curtain opens, and the exact same thing happens.


Don’t worry. This post is where the self pity ends. This year was a terrible racing year and I’m writing it off. Thank you for all of the kind comments. I don’t know what I’ll do next.