Tag Archives: Non-zero

Non-zero means at least a little bit

It’s been a long day, and I spent a good chunk of time this morning trying to get better audio files, but not succeeding. I didn’t want to call it quits today before at least writing a little bit on the string quartet. It is energizing, but after giving each of the four string instruments a little more music to play, I’m just tired, and I’m calling it a day.

I’m still pleased, because I wrote a little bit. And what’s more: I like what I’m writing. I can hardly wait to play it with my friends. But there’s no huge rush. The piece is twenty seconds longer than it was yesterday. If I do this for five days a week, for five weeks, I’d have more than eight minutes of music. Not too bad, and I think I can probably write more some days.

A bad day is better than no day

I’m reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits. He talks about the importance of showing up, even when you don’t feel like it. You do it because it is a part of your identity, that you are a person that doesn’t miss (his example is workouts, but I’m applying it to writing music).

It’s been a day full of working on house chores, and I am looking at my list of things to do. I have a task called “Write music.” It does not quantify how much, because I know that these days come sometimes, when I feel like I don’t have much time, and maybe not a ton of ideas to write in the amount of time I can scrounge up anyway.

But I write in three phrases, and I consider it a non-zero day, a day which despite not yielding lots of new notes, has still been a day when I showed up to my computer. I opened my software notation program, and I wrote in some new notes. I put in a key change.

Next time I know I’ll need to add in more variations on the theme. It should be fun. But as I explained a few days ago, the piece came with a huge wave of grief attached to it, and it is kind of heavy working on it. I’ll go play some Bruch or Telemann or Hummel or maybe just Christmas tunes to brighten my spirit.