Making time for Art

Well, guys, I think I’m going to call it.

Here we are on Day 12 of November, almost halfway through the month, and I just cracked 1,000 words on my NaNo project.

So, only 49,000 more to go.  It’s just not happening.

I had yesterday off work (just one more reason for me to thank our servicemen and women) and I had abstractly thought it would be a great time to catch up on my writing.

What did I actually do yesterday? Went to the drug store, the grocery, paid bills, renewed my car registration, did a week’s worth of dishes, set up appointments for doctors and utilities, planned dinner, and raked leaves for two hours.  All in all, a very productive day.

I did all these things because I am an adult, and I have responsibilities.  This is the way it should be, right?  Until my writing in some way contributes to the household, I cannot prioritize it.


Last Friday, I had the privilege of seeing Joshua Bell perform live with the Akron Symphony Orchestra.  Needless to say, it was an incredible performance.  He played the Bruch concerto, which I had never heard live before.  Even someone who knew nothing about music would have understood that this performance was special, would have been moved by it.  “Now that’s somebody who loves music,” said an attendee (probably one of the many darling old women in the audience) to the local paper.

That’s the magic of those who are masters of their art.

It’s nearly impossible to mention Joshua Bell without also mentioning his 2007 experiment in collaboration with WaPo’s Gene Weingarten, in which he played incognito in a DC metro station for 43 minutes.  He earned $32.17, and of the thousand-some people that walked by him, only seven stopped to listen to him for more than a minute.  Only one person recognized him; he was already extremely popular at the time, having won a Grammy and played on the Oscar-winning soundtrack to The Red Violin.

All those people that walked through that metro station, during morning rush hour—it’s so easy to put myself in their shoes.  They are focused on their responsibilities, what they have to do when they get to the office, their dawdling kid, their grocery list.  This musician is at best a frivolity, at worst an annoyance.

And yet, we are incredulous.  How could they not stop and listen?  How can life be worth living when it actively excludes Joshua Bell playing Bach on a Stradivarius from six feet away?

I don’t know.  I’m not giving up on my NaNo story.  I don’t really care about word count, or “winning.”  I have been working on this story for a year, and I just want to finish it, however many words or months it takes.

Because writing is my art, and it makes life better.

And yes, I am absolutely counting this blog post towards my NaNo word count.  Only 48,500 more to go.


8 thoughts on “Making time for Art

  1. starwarsanon November 13, 2014 / 3:13 pm

    Hear hear! I have never participated in NaNoWriMo. In fact, it stresses me out to even think about participating. I would never be able to keep up with the amount of work. And I don’t writing to be another responsibility that I grow to loathe, as opposed to something I enjoy (and should enjoy).

    That said – I came up with a great new novel story that I kind of do want to write down. I’m really excited about it and it’s fantasy based as opposed to sci-fi, which is what my other novel is. I don’t think I’ll ever finish these stories, actually, but it’s nice to have them there waiting for me to get fresh inspiration.

    I loved this blog post! And I loved how you tied it back to Joshua Bell.


    • Mei-Mei November 13, 2014 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks Kiri! I’m glad you’re excited about writing your story–I hope you do write it and that it’s fun. Sometimes I like the idea of writing more than actually doing the writing…but just thinking about the stories is fun, too.


  2. mk November 13, 2014 / 11:40 pm

    You go girl! When I did the arithmetic for NaNo, I was horrified and then quickly decided that starting on Jan 1 and finishing on Dec 31 would be entirely admirable. And I too loved your tie-in with Joshua Bell.


    • Mei-Mei November 14, 2014 / 12:04 am

      Haha yeah, I just hit 1660 words, which is how much I should have written on the first day! I will be thrilled if I finish this story, regardless of when that is.


  3. Bethany Hatheway November 16, 2014 / 10:42 pm

    Don’t give up yet! Never surrender! If you know you can’t make 50,000, try setting a smaller goal, like 25,000. The goal is to force yourself to write, though it sucks when there is literally no time.


    • Mei-Mei November 16, 2014 / 10:49 pm

      I always have so many excuses, it’s terrible! I’m kinda ignoring word count at this point and just trying to finish as much of the story as possible…
      Thanks for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.