June 22, 2018

Lessons from the Cello to the Writer – Part 1

By Chris Manion

She won’t speak unless I touch her. And lately, I’ve been avoiding touching her. I’m not sure why.

My cello sits in my music room and waits for me. An empty chair faces the music stand where the bow hangs. I abandoned my cello two years ago when I began the labor pains of birthing my first book. I couldn’t do both. The book demanded all my attention and effort. I think real babies are easier to birth than books.

It’s easy to project feelings onto my cello, but she’s too perfect to do anything but wait for me. She’s neither restless nor disappointed. My husband, God love him, simply sits in a chair and thumbs through emails when I’m running late. He makes no comments or sounds, knowing such actions won’t help. God’s like this, too. He waits with eternal patience for me to give him my time. Our readers wait.

My cello won’t speak unless I draw a bow across her beautiful body and make her strings cry out and sing. A writer’s work won’t speak until her fingers touch the keys, record button, or pen.
I think about my cello almost every day. I dust her. I walk past her. My mind dismisses my weak mantra of I’ve-got-to-get-back-to-playing as easily as a child dismisses a mother’s admonition. My commitment to play her hangs like wet laundry on the line, limp.

I think about my writing every day, too. But like thoughts of doing sit-ups after giving birth, unless I actually do some writing, those weak writing muscles will not tone up by themselves.

Until I abandoned my cello, I never understood why many writers complained about not being able to write. I get it now. The longer I stay away from playing my cello, the easier it is to forget the exhilaration of making music.

When I plant myself in the chair and start playing, the wood warms, the strings stretch, and my muscles remember what to do. Vibrations rumble against my chest, music opens in the air and magic begins. Something happens after I sit in my writing chair and begin a few sentences. Fresh words take off in new directions, opening in the air between my heart and mind.

Stay tuned for seven lessons my cello provided to my writing in Part 2.
Best-selling author Chris Manion is a conference and retreat speaker as well an award-winning catechist. Chris served as a coach and national leader in the direct selling industry for twenty-six years where she built a $20 million sales organization before retiring. Chris’s mission spotlights the oneness of all creation; her writing and talks encourage hearts to awaken to what their souls know but may have forgotten. Chris blogs at and God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Social Media links: ht

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