Mar 5, 2012

Attaining Perfection

I just spent the last two days in highly musically infused situations, between performances of my kids and myself. And last week I listened to one of the works on my musical bucket list (you know, works that I would like to listen to live before I die.  What...don't you have one?)

As I listened to them, I had a realization.  We writers have it easy.

WHAT?!?

When our best work goes out to the world, the nerves we may be feeling don't impact the performance of the book.  If we have a memory lapse, the word is still written.  What the audience gets is our very best and every single reading is precisely and perfectly how we intended it to be.

I'm a classical music lover - have a currently three page typed document of my favorite classical works.  But I heard an interesting thing from YoYo Ma a while ago (paraphrasing) - Audiences are becoming disenfranchised with live performances in some ways because they aren't perfect.  Someone is going to make a mistake - someone always does.  And the audiences have heard the recorded, carefully dubbed, replayed and perfected tracks so often that they miss out on the feeling because live isn't perfect.

How fortunate are we that when our writing is out there, it is what it is. And the only thing standing in our way is ourselves.  Sure, the idea of perfection that we are working for ourselves is evolving, but attainable through dedication and passion.

What is it that makes you happy your creativity can come out in words?   How to you find time to celebrate the life that is a writer?  

13 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's true! I play guitar and mess up all the time. So performing a piece perfectly is difficult. (Add to the fact that sometimes rockers are drunk and high at the time and I have NO idea how they do it!)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I don't mind the occasional mistake in a live performance. It just means it is live, and not the artist faking it to pre-recorded music.

Rosalyn said...

I agree--the ability to pre-plan your work is a huge advantage.

At the same time, live performers (and storytellers!) have one advantage over us: they're able to build off a real-time synergy and connection with the audience that we have to work hard to build. One of the things I love about watching plays is that, if the audience is right, the power of the play gets amplified by the people in attendance. As writers, we don't ever get that, because our audiences are (usually) built one on one.

Emily R. King said...

I celebrate the life of a writer when...well I guess it's when I finish a draft and send it to a CP. You know, that moment when you still think it's great. Ah, it feels good.

Erin Shakespear said...

Interesting....I'd never thought of that before. Yet another reason I'm happy to be a writer.

I celebrate my writerly life by being happy with it. :)

Angela Cothran said...

I've never thought of it like this. LOVE it. But it makes me have higher expectations for books that suck :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

How sad to think people don't enjoy the live performance because it doesn't sound like the recording! There's something really wrong about that!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

It's true - we don't have to perform in the way musicians do. I think it was Joni Mitchell who said, "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint starry night again, man!'"

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I used to play the piano as a child until my teens, I do so regret giving it up. I was given a gift and let it slip through my fingers.

Yvonne.

Leigh Covington said...

Oooh! I love that quote by Emerson! Wonderful - and so true! And I plan on celebrating when I get this first draft done. It needs to include a yummy dinner with a chocolate dessert! :) hehehe

Oh - and I tagged you today!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I feel a little bit harried lately and like I'm not taking the time to enjoy the writing life.

Melissa Bradley said...

Unfortunately, I don't do that often enough. I need to celebrate my creativity more.

Sophia Chang said...

Oh I LOVE that Emerson quote! So timely to remember and it helps us keep our faith.