I enjoyed my piece yesterday but didn’t actually do anything (except write maybe one measure) By this I mean I was playing what I had written as best as my hands could and also played around with some of what is coming up next but I didn’t actually focus on writing anything for real. This type of thing happens I imagine to composers everywhere. It sounds harmless but that isn’t quite true – if I go through my piece in a half baked way and burn what I have into my muscle memory at the piano and psychological memory in my brain it reduces flexibility when writing what comes next.
There is a very close parallel to this with practicing the piano. This would be like playing through your favorite parts or parts you know but not practicing the new material you need to practice. You might claim you just practiced for 30 minutes but actually you were not solving problems or learning new things, you were just “playing” the piano. This doesn’t do what actual practicing would do.
So for either case, composition or piano performance, taking time to just enjoy is OK but you have to know that you didn’t really do any work. Today so far I feel different – I’ll see if I can get the next section done. I did write about one measure yesterday – that’s an important start.