The argument of writer vs reader produced additional reflection.
Both George F. and Phil H. suggested activities which prompted me to analyze the concept in greater detail.
Here are some additional thoughts:
We are of two minds:
1) one, in the moment and reactive,
2) a second, out of the moment and reflective.
Consider any competitive game, sport or activity. While you are engaged in a game of chess (George F.) or skiing down a mountain, serving a tennis ball or swinging a baseball bat your mind is focused on the moment and the skills you employ are those immediately available.
It is only after you complete your pursuit can you review your results.
• I used to coach girls’ softball. I had one player who would close her eyes while she swung the bat. She denied this, of course, but when shown a video of her swing, was stunned. “How can I see the ball if I… Oh!”
• During my time learning the game of golf I had the neophyte tendency to lift my head, just a tad, causing the club to repeatedly “skull” the ball. I had no idea why I kept topping my strikes until my teacher forcefully held my head down.
In performing arts, one can practice the dance, tweak the notes, stop and repeat offline (Phil H.). But once on stage, you have but the one chance to get it right. Your mind is hot and body hotter, applying your training, such as it is.
Later, during analysis through critics, recordings or video, you might discovery errors in performance.
Fixes on the fly? Well, that’s the goal.
As beginners, while “doing”, we are incapable of “analyzing”. Only when we can sit back and review can we determine our flaws and failures.
In performance art, competitive activity, or focused application our behavior is immediate and reactive. Post action we can evaluate and analyze, applying a methodical and deliberate critique of our active endeavor.
The two minds act separately, at first. I believe that as we gain mastery, we teach ourselves to be both participant and observer. The coercion of these two minds into one is, once again, evidence of a master. To analyze and correct yourself, while you act? That’s one helluva trick.
Writing is unique in this regard. We can run amuck, running riot with words, casting errors and faux pas like confetti—first drafts are garbage. But then we can sit on our work for days, weeks or years returning to polish, at will, until our editor’s mind is satisfied.
Imagine a concert where the guitarist twangs a sour note, stops the presentation and goes, “Hold on, let me try that again.”
The melding of our two minds will not be enough, however. Our critical self must continuously elevate our notions of quality. It becomes a never ending game of catch-up, our doer ever chasing our reviewer.