Tuesday, November 25, 2014

To write, or...crochet?

By: Kristi Hartman

I started the beginning of the month with a goal to sort of do Nanowrimo.  I already had about 75 pages of my novel done, but was going to use November as a jump start to hopefully get the book complete.  For awhile, I was doing really well.  I was setting aside a specific time each night to write, and had a word count I was shooting for and meeting every day.
Then, I started to slip back into my old habits.  The writing was becoming more difficult as I progressed in my story, and I was starting to question my direction of the storyline.  I started asking myself questions like,
"Where is my character going in this scene?  What is she doing there?  Why?  What is the point?"
And mostly,

"What is the point at all?!"

I guess to distract myself from my lack of writing, or my weird little funk I was in, I decided to start working on a crochet project I had stashed away in the corner of my family room.  The yarn was new and ready to go, the crochet hook, unused and waiting.  I pulled out the stuff, shrugged my shoulders, and thought, "how hard could this be?"  I had crocheted in the past, but only doing edging patterns on baby blankets. Never a complete project with just some yarn and a hook.
I watched a YouTube video about getting started, and with mounds of confidence, got to work.
All seemed to be going well for awhile, until it was curling and was starting to resemble a fan more than a rectangle.  After some google searching, I realized I was crocheting too tight. Apparently there is this thing called tension.  ;)  I sighed, and started pulling, unraveling all those hours of work.
Then, I forced myself to stop doing it so tightly and started over again.  After awhile, I was feeling confidant, and the yarn was starting to resemble something other than a ball of yarn.  I worked on it for a couple of nights, while my computer still sat, unused.  I had started to get fairly far along when I looked into my bag and noticed my yarn supply was smaller than it should have been.  If I kept going at the rate I was, I was going to make a rather long and skinny dish towel instead of a throw blanket. I went back to the website I had originally seen the pattern from and did some research.  I was crocheting the wrong blanket.  I was mixing up two different patterns.  Fabulous.
At this point, I was so determined to get it right, I gritted my teeth, and started pulling my blanket apart again.  Which, unfortunately, was not going to be the last time.  After two more failed attempts at counting wrong and ending up with a crooked blanket again, I had now restarted this 'simple' little distraction project of mine FOUR times.

So why the story of my mediocre crocheting experience?  Well, it got me thinking.  Why was I so dedicated to getting that dang blanket right, when the second my writing started to get difficult, I bailed?
I asked myself what I could learn from this whole process, and it was of course obvious.
Don't give up on your writing when it gets difficult.  And it will.  Like anything that is of worth or value, it takes time to learn and perfect, and sometimes starting over 4 (or more) times is the only way to learn.
Sure, the blanket will be nice to cuddle with on chilly nights, or when my Mom friends come over and I can pretend I'm so domestic and craft blankets from almost nothing, but the satisfaction of having my dream of a finished novel in my hands is so much more worthwhile.

Who knows, maybe someday I can read my published YA fiction novel while cuddling with my finally finished crocheted blanket.

1 comment:

  1. I chuckled when I read this. I just crocheted some Christmas scarves that i had to pull out twice! "Do-overs" are quite common in crochet AND writing! Fun post!



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