Monday Morning Practice

Monday morning practice – fight back for creativity

Written by Allison Wolf

This weekend in lazy moment of Facebook surfing I came across a link to the Guardian’s Classical Music Blog and a terrific post by concert pianist James Rhodes from back in April 2013: “Find what you love and let it kill you.” You MUST read it.

This is a cry from the heart to all of us to get out there to create:

“After the inevitable “How many hours a day do you practice?” and “Show me your hands”, the most common thing people say to me when they hear I’m a pianist is “I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up”. I imagine authors have lost count of the number of people who have told them they “always had a book inside them”. We seem to have evolved into a society of mourned and misplaced creativity. A world where people have simply surrendered to (or been beaten into submission by) the sleepwalk of work, domesticity, mortgage repayments, junk food, junk TV, junk everything, angry ex-wives, ADHD kids and the lure of eating chicken from a bucket while emailing clients at 8pm on a weekend.”

James was no child prodigy. He gave up music for a decade and worked in London until he just couldn’t stand not playing piano anymore.

His post is a reminder that we all have that spark of creativity in us, and rather than shove it away because we aren’t good enough, don’t have time, and 101 other reasons, we can pick up the pen, or the paint brush, or an instrument and simply play.

It makes me think of two designers I read about who have their friends over for beer and art making sessions. They drink and chat and doodle, paint, collage, and whatever.

“The government is cutting music programmes in schools and slashing Arts grants as gleefully as a morbidly American kid in Baskin Robbins. So if only to stick it to the man, isn’t it worth fighting back in some small way? So write your damn book. Learn a Chopin prelude, get all Jackson Pollock with the kids, spend a few hours writing a Haiku. Do it because it counts even without the fanfare, the money, the fame…”

So this Monday morning practice is about getting your creative on this week. Whatever that is for you. Enjoy!

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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