So this is a bit of a continuation of what's been going on lately, as talked about in the blog before.
A lot of people don't know this about me, but before I got into the writing thing, I composed music. I took over a decade of piano lessons, competitively performed, traveled around the country plunking out Bach and Rachmaninoff, and then eventually began to sing competitively and professionally as well.
When I went off to college, everyone thought I was going to go be a musician. I surprised them by joining a theatre conservatory and picking up playwriting. I did this because I thought that someday I'd move to New York and become a famous musical theatre writer. You can't be a jack of all trades, not if you want to go pro. So I chose writing. And writing turned to novel writing. And what use does a novelist have for a piano?
Fortunately, Alex somehow found all of my composition recordings from my olden days, and he listens to them religiously on his iPod. They weren't supposed to be saved, but he has kept them alive in our lives, and every once in a while, he'll pop one of the old songs in to remind me of this little spark I've got that I don't really allow to show.
So I decided, although I don't have a lot of money right now, that I would pull out of my savings, march myself down to Keyboard Kastle, and get myself a good electric keyboard with an audio jack (you're welcome, neighbors).
I'm usually pretty frugal unless it comes to vacations, and so a big buy like this still has me shaking. But the way Alex looks at the keys when I play ... the way he said to me, "I can't wait to hear you writing music again" ... I know I made the right choice.
This picture here shows the corner of our little apartment where the piano will go. We're clearing it all out in the next 48 hours, and by Tuesday night, I will be able to start making things again.
So why is it important to get a piano? Aren't I a writer? Aren't I supposed to be focusing on my book? Is this just all a way to procrastinate writing the book?
No. It will help me write the book.
Let's go back to what we were talking about yesterday. Remember Disney? Remember how he did things his own way? Well, I'm going to do things my way. When I wrote my other book, I scored half of it. I wrote songs about the characters. And I needed a song to listen to while writing this one specific scene, and it didn't exist. So I wrote it. Recorded it. Listened to it while writing the scene.
Sometimes we can't pigeon-hole our creative heart. Sometimes we just have to be weird, be ourselves, buy a piano, and do our thing the way we know how to do it. I'm trying to trust in myself as an artist without worrying about looking dumb or messing up. Art usually goes hand-in-hand with messing up, and we forget that as a community. If you are so scared on not being perfect, you aren't going to do anything. Art isn't perfection. Art is the crappy paint splatters that get in those places you weren't expecting them to fly.
So yes. That's why I got a piano. And as soon as that sucker is hooked up and ready to go, I am punching out a rendition of "Land of Nod," because I'm sick and tired of trying to get myself to like Natalie Merchant's version.
What is this?
Dawson is an editor and writer and MFA student at Stonecoast. She writes stuff.