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.