Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: Thoughts on Writing 1,000 Articles


Something my father used to often say, of big projects, was that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” That is a very appropriate thought, as I today arrive for a second time at a personal milestone at Horn Matters: 1,000 articles!

A second time? Well, actually in July of 2012 I originally passed this milestone, but then later we rebuilt and tightened up Horn Matters and cut something like 300 older articles. Either way it is a milestone, there is certainly no other horn player with more than 1,000 articles online. And it is more than 1,000, as there are over 50 other articles of mine online elsewhere, in my original Horn Articles Online site and on the IHS site. My nearest “competitor” is Bruce Hembd, who has over 700 articles; anyone else I am aware of being far behind that number.

When Bruce and I developed Horn Matters in August of 2009, we were excited about the new platform for our existing online writings. If it was not obvious enough already, I do enjoy the creative side of transforming notes and ideas into finished products. I actually have little starts of drafts of hundreds more potential articles. But that being said, I am very aware of blogger burn-out, which is part of why I have slowed down actual article production in recent years. At one point I was posting three articles a week! My goal now is 3-4 a month. And I do go back to older articles in the site and fix things periodically as well; I know they keep getting read. The archive at Horn Matters is immense; we have no shortage of content.

As a online writer my goal has been to be in general positive and encouraging, with a focus on news and topics of help to horn players. We get pushback occasionally, and of course elements of the older generation of horn playing still barely know that Horn Matters exists! But the negatives are minor and the stats continue to show that a lot of people are out there reading us — plus we are still enjoying what we are doing.

Among my writings here, I am most proud overall of the University of Horn Matters (series starts here), which is slated actually for some revisions, probably over the summer. My goal is to focus it down a bit more, tighten up each article a bit, there is too much content in it to really take it all in. As part of the same project, too, I want to be even more critical and aware to point readers in the text toward points that are physiologically accurate over visualizations.

In the original 2012 version of this article I mentioned that I was really itching to do more performance based projects. Getting a little more personal for a moment, my friends, colleagues, and former students know that I am a parent of a handicapped child who is now 22 years old. This fact has altered my trajectory a bit these past few years in terms of performance toward more of a focus on publications and recordings. The general idea being to focus on doing things I can do rather than things I can’t. So I have been able to recently record another solo CD (to be released in 2016) and I have several publications on the way very soon, with more in the pipeline.

As to ongoing goals for Horn Matters, I hope in the next year to add a short series of articles on musical enterprise as another course under the University of Horn Matters banner. And maybe add a volume IV to the PDF Excerpt E-Book series.

To close, a sincere note of thanks to Bruce Hembd for his support (Horn Matters is really not possible without his expertise behind the scenes) and also to my wife who supports me so much, making it possible to do all that I do. Finally, a note of thanks to all of you out there for reading and seeking horn information on Horn Matters, the online magazine and Open Educational Resource on the horn.

University of Horn Matters