Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Channeling Roy

Roy Halladay died yesterday.

Yes, he was a grown man who played a game and made ridiculous amounts of money doing that, but I'm a grown woman who tells stories and makes okay amounts of money, so I can't fault him for that.

Besides, Roy taught me so much about being the best artist I could be.

Roy was just another quality pitcher in the game I love until I read this Sports Illustrated article by Tom Verducci 7 years ago. I know you don't like sports, but you really should read it. Tom Verducci is an excellent writer. Besides, the rest of this post will make much more sense.

Suddenly, Roy looked an awful lot like me. A human who had a deep desire to succeed at a task that could, at times, seem impossible.

Roy sent me on a quest. Because of Roy, I purchased every book written by Harvey Dorfman. I used the guise of my son's love of baseball for the purchase, but if you want to find those books today, they're next to my side of the bed.

I remember reading a page or two and jumping out of my chair, antsy to get to a practice session. From reading Harvey's work, I realized the biggest challenges I faced were inside of my own head. I also realized if I would work mindfully and persistently, there was a good chance I could solve many of my artistic problems.

Messiah, Jim Thorpe, PA, December, 2010.
The first performance trying out Roy's ideas.

These attitudes, while initially challenging, transformed how I work.

I now see problems as challenges, challenges that might take longer to solve, but that have a solution.

I don't get as emotionally involved when things go wrong.

I seek out quality feedback from respected sources.

I work consistently (join me in my daily warmup) to keep my skills as sharp as possible.

I enjoy the game, the thrill, the wonderment of what will happen.

I am confident that my skills are up to the challenge of whatever comes my way.

I know I will fail, but I also know I have access to the tools to fix my failures.

So yes, Roy Halladay was a baseball player, but he was also a teacher.

Thank you, Roy. You changed my life.

Hit the stinkin' ball


  1. Great post!

    I ran into a real roadblock on a PDF problem yesterday. I remembered your previous post and said to myself, "just try the clean up one little thing -- the font issues. Maybe it will work. Just do a little thing."

    Yep. It worked and the rest of the session went well.

    The baseball analogies carry over into lots of life. Little stuff matters. Persistence pays dividends. Keep moving.

    As I said, great post.

    Thanks, Heidi!

  2. Thanks Wanda! I've been writing daily, mostly junk, but the habit made this post flow easily out of my head and onto the computer.

    I'm thrilled to know that my one little thing idea helped you! Incredible, isn't it?