From Start to Finish


This week has been one with many changes.  One of the main influences on mood and spirits, the weather, has become less settled and the part-time doctorate is reaching the final straight.  It has taken four years to get to this point and will be another few years before everything is ready for submission but all the component parts are finally in place to achieve a result.  In sporting terms working at this research has been like competing in hundreds of triathlons or swimming from Lands End to John O’Groats (Sean Conway is attempting this at the moment and raising money for War Child in the process) and back again (not part of his swim).

The subject I am studying still fills me with excitement.  My research has led me to consider many aspects of music that have not been relevant to the final piece of work but very informative in the development of my own practice as a composer and educator.  I have planned, experimented, observed, completed and reconsidered many ideas during the process and now have in-depth knowledge and experience of the creative cycle, or as Paul E. Plsek described it, Directed Creativity.  Some other descriptions of this process can be found at; or or  In the articles the language used is different but in the end it comes down to the same principle; once you have an idea there are many distractions that emerge to delay the achievement of your goal.  It is a matter of recognising these evasion, diversion and deferring behaviours, ignore them and concentrate on the main objective.  Easier said than done in my experience.

It is comforting to know I am not alone in this situation.  A quick web search has brought up many posts, comments and articles from researchers who have gone through or are still in similar situations.  Many have considered giving up as the most convincing option, some have surrendered to a more organised existence but others have toiled to the end.  My search phrase was Why don’t I want to finish my work? and I could have spent hours reading about other peoples’ experiences but I didn’t.  I recognised what could have been an interesting but diversionary situation and avoided it, back to the blog.  Of course this blog each week is a diversion but I am still using it to help refine my writing, structures using words and thought processes with words as the outcome.  Working with music has always been easy for me and a persistent part of my life but this other language, the written word, has not been as constant as the music and consequently I need more practice to become comfortable with it.

Where am I now on the journey?  I can just see the finishing line and have a far more clear direction and purpose for my arguments than I have ever had before.  Now is just the matter of finding the time and space to put everything together.  As a full-time student it could be possible, as a part-time student who works full-time finding the time has some challenges.  There is much mention of time in the last few sentences as this part of the process is the unknown, how much will be needed to complete and how much can be planned and set aside to be able to complete.  I intend to keep blogging until I cross the line, I hope you can stay with me until then.


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
This entry was posted in Music Composition and Performance and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s