Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday's teacup

Getting one day a week to devote to special projects is a very great luxury, and one I've been trying hard to enjoy for several months now - without much success.  Even on a day off, it's very difficult to close the door on errands and housekeeping and phone calls, as I'm sure you know.

Lately though, I've been harnessing this one day to work on some writing.  I use my very special handmade teacup for bonus motivation: after all, if somebody else can build a whole pottery business then surely I can find a few hours to focus on a story.

Organizing my time through the knitting planner is what's made the difference.  Committing to a task and writing it down is a tremendous help, but actually spacing tasks out on a calendar makes it possible to follow through.  There is something mentally freeing about knowing that you don't have to find that particular set of keys today since they aren't needed until the following Thursday.

When I was writing all the time and regarding knitting as a dangerous distraction - as you can see by five years' worth of posts about knit projects here at Hugs, I was not wrong about that - there was always a lot of chat in my various writing communities about whether or not to use outlines, or play music while writing, or name more than one character with something that began with C (or any shared other first letter) lest it confuse the reader.

Now, as I try to carve out this one day a week to tackle a big project, I find the outline I built recently - via index cards that covered my kitchen table - to be the biggest asset I have.  Just like my knitting planner has helped direct and enhance my knitting productivity, it's allowing me to pick up where I left off without needing time to sort myself out first.

And that's not something to sneeze at, because novels are very unwieldy things.  I never thought about it before because they are my favourite thing to write and everything else feels like making do, but last fall I met a poet.  She asked what I am working on and when I told her it was a novel, she looked amazed and asked how I can possibly keep all the threads together for something so big.  She herself finds her few verses to be work enough.  I hadn't thought about this before and now that I have - yikes!

I guess my point today is that knitting is a wonderful thing to be able to do - it truly is a hug, and a break, and a way to achieve something tangible even in low-achieving times - but it's even better if you can balance it with other things.  And I am so grateful to be finding that happy medium.

How do you balance your knitting?

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