The month of February is coming to a close, and that means that March is right around the corner. I am looking forward to warmer days, a spring break visit to California, and this year’s Writer’s March. I thought that now would be a good time to send out an anticipatory post. Time to start crafting those writing goals.
For those unfamiliar with A Writer’s March, the idea is simple: set a writing goal and work every day during the month of March to achieve it. The goal can can be whatever you like–two short stories you’d like to submit to literary magazines, 30 newly drafted poems, 100 revised pages of a novel, seven stellar songs…. The idea here is to think about what you’d like to have completed by the end of the month. Your goal should challenge , but it should also be do-able. Even the goal of writing for 20 minutes a day is admirable if that is all you can find. For me, the importance here is not to exhaust yourself or beat yourself up, but to hold yourself accountable. You make the promise and then you keep it. Its as simple as that. Oh yeah, and I’ll post some things here on the blog–bits of writing advice, prompts, jokes, stories of my own. You can read the posts, share your own tales and woes, and we’ll go from there.
Why do this?
Today, as I ate tomato soup and leftover naan, I encountered Young-ha Kim’s TED Talk titled “Be an artist, right now!” Translated from Korean, the main point of Kim’s talk is that we are all born artists and need to embrace art in our life, even when–especially when–it doesn’t seem practical. As he points out, as young children, we draw with crayons on walls, dance and sing in public, play house (aka perform mini-dramas). We build sandcastles next to waves, not caring that the ocean will soon break the whole thing down. Why? Because it is fun. Because it brings us joy.
“Unfortunately,” Kim points out, “the little artists within us are choked to death before we get to fight against the oppressors of art. They get trapped in. That’s our tragedy.” Without art, he explains, our artistic desires reveals itself in dark forms: karaoke bars, crowded clubs, and jealousy. “We get jealous because we have little artists pent up inside us.”
While Kim’s talk is aimed towards an audience of “non”-artists, I found his message to be inspiring even for those who have more fully dedicated themselves (and their pocket-books) to the craft. I also enjoy his ideal version of the world: a place where someone might be a golfer by day and a writer by night, or a cabby and an actor, a banker and a painter. For what is art for?
It saves our souls and makes us happy. It helps us express ourselves and be happy without the help of alcohol or drugs. So in response to such a pragmatic question [i.e. “What for?’], we need to be bold. “Well, just for the fun of it. Sorry for having fun without you.”
This will be a fun month. Together, we’ll get a lot of words written. We’ll create. We’ll let the little artists out for some fresh air. The weather is going to get warmer, after all. Why not join in? (No, really. Click HERE to join the March…)Additionally, if anyone is interested in blogging with me this month, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org)!