In January, I started and finished my very first real crochet project — a lap-sized blanket of soft, chunky yarn (that looks deceptively like my dog when she has sticks and leaves stuck to her fuzzy coat). I also got this close to finishing a revise-on-my-own-while-I-wait-for-my-editorial-letter round with my manuscript, MIRACULOUS.
Since last summer, it has been my monthly goal to finish this round of edits. Yes, you read that correctly. I made great gains at my writing retreat in the fall, only to spend a solid three weeks stuck in one chapter. I’ve circled back to the beginning of the manuscript again and again to see how best to push to the end (because I solidly believe most questions I have about a piece of writing can be solved by returning to the text).
Man, it hasn’t been what I’ve planned. Wow, I’ve learned a lot about writing this particular book.
That’s my writing life, pretty much, in a nutshell.
I’ve always wanted to learn some sort of handiwork, and at the end of last year I settled on crochet. My mom gave me a bag of hooks and yarn for Christmas,* and armed with a How-To-Crochet booklet and plenty of YouTube videos, I dove in.
It has been SO MUCH FUN.
Unlike writing, a crochet project progresses in measurable ways. Much like running, it’s steady rhythm has felt restorative. Using my hands lets my brain go on autopilot and gives my mind the space and time it needs to do its behind-the-scenes creative work.
If you are a writer, have you found a creative outlet unrelated to your work?
*My younger son took one look and said, “Mom, are you learning how to be a granny?” I can tell you he now thinks my blanket is pretty darn cool.