Yesterday, I picked up a new keyboard. I found it at a thrift shop. I suppose most people would be like, why would you want a grungy old keyboard? Just go to WalMart or Best Buy and buy a new one. Well, this keyboard was $100. And your reaction is probably, what the hell keyboard costs $100. And I’d keep feeding you clues. It’s 20 years old. Is this some sort of vintage IBM mechanical clicky monstrosity? The kind that annoy everyone in the room? Nope, it’s a keyboard. An Alesis QS8.
A picture doesn’t do this thing justice, only because you have to pick it up to appreciate it. The case is solid steel. The ends? Solid oak. 55 pounds of wood and steel. 88 keys of weighted piano action. It’s a monster.
It’s not the first monster I’ve had. The predecessor to this Alesis QS8 was a General Music Equinox Pro. Another 88 key steel anchor. I have a whole story about the disposal of that anchor that will probably never get posted, but it did involve me getting very belligerent with a sales person at Guitar Center.
Although the news that I now have a second 88-key keyboard is cool, that is not what I really wanted to post about. I had a revelation tonight. I may have mentioned I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. This is week 2 and I’ll be honest. It’s not as much fun anymore. And that led me to my revelation.
If you have ever programmed a synthesizer, you probably know about the ADSR envelope. If you have ever participated in NaNoWriMo, you are living through an ADSR envelope. If you’ve done both, you are probably nodding right now. For those that don’t know what an ADSR envelope is, I will explain it very quickly and it will make immediate sense.
This is an ADSR envelope:
ADSR means: Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. And these four points of the envelope correspond to the weeks of NaNoWriMo. You’ll need to replace “Amplitude” with “Daily Word Count”.
You have your first week, where you are full of energy and ideas, so your word count skyrockets. The second week (where I am now), your output drops to a more realistic level. Week three is the grind (I’m going to expect this will be true), where you have to force yourself to keep going although you are sick of seeing words on a screen. The final stage, if you make it, and if you’ve plodded along consistently, is coasting to the finish line, putting in filler text and additional dialog that fills in the blanks until you collapse at the finish line with one word left to go and you find that one character who never had a line of dialog and make him say, “Fuck.” Just because.
So, welcome to Decay week of NanoWriMo. Next week, we all Sustain.