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yes, i am a writer!

April 2, 2013

Many years ago during an Iowa blizzard, I taught myself how to knit.. Being left handed made it a little more complicated to follow the intricate diagrams of wrapping the yarn around and dipping the needle in… Somehow I perservered, there was plenty of time, it was a major blizzard, and knit an orange and brown turtle from the free pattern on the back of the skein. Well that dates me now doesn’t it! Back at school, my next project was a navy blue purse with multi colored flowers knit into the pattern. In retrospect this was a bit of a reach project for a beginning knitter, but since I didn’t know that, I just knit it.. To this day, I remember how proud I was of my bag, lined with left over fabric from a sewing project.

I also remember that there was a hole… a space where the change of color from base shade to flower shade didn’t go quite right. I saw that hole every time I used that bag. I wondered about it, knew that the bag was not ‘perfect’ and moved on to knit scarves and sweaters.

Over the decades my committment to knitting has waxed and waned.. I have knit compulsively for years and then put it down for years. My latest knitting addiction has been my most consistent and longest, solidified with the gift of a fabulous Vera Bradley knitting bag as as gift from a dear friend over 10 years ago.

How does this relate to writing?

Several years into my knitting identity, I joined a knitters group in a nearby town. There were master knitters, beginning kintters and lets be honest, kind knitters and really superior holier than thou snotty knitters. It was quite the mixed bag!

One of the master knitters, commenting on my less than perfect knitting, gave me information on the two types of knitters, information that has informed my perception of life.

She said, there are PROJECT knitters and PROCESS knitters. She was, of course, a proccess knitter. A process knitter will only knit a perfect item. The pleasure is in the process and if the process requires ripping out the same row 16 times, so be it. if the process to perfection requires noting a mistake 3 inches down and ripping back to it, so be it. It is about the process, and the time to complete the item is not material. On the other hand…………. the project knitter is already thinking about the next project. Better to let the little hole be, finish the project and move on to the next skein, the next pattern, the next project.

I have yet to knit the perfect sweater, but I am closer. I have knit some amazing color combinations, knit from the bottom up, the top down and even side to side. In peak knitting mode, I have several projects ‘on the needles’ and several ‘yarned up’. There is also the entire closet filled with yarn for ‘retirement’.. Since that conversation, I am more aware of knitting as a process, not a race to finish a project, but a time to enjoy the rhythm of the needles and the developing pattern of the yarn.

Back to writing… on February 4th, 2013 I made a committment to open my used only once blog and write. Write every day for one year and see where it takes me. For all of my life, I have loved words on paper. I know that there are times when I can turn a phrase with the best of them. What I have not had is the discipline to see where that could lead. Writing may be a project, but it is most certainly also a process.

And a process always requires discipline, the discipline to get up every morning, and write. Two months in, I am grinning as I add the word WRITER to my self definition. I am not published, not widely read, perhaps not even relevant. Doesn’t matter, I am a WRITER! Validated by nearly two months of daily writing. Validated by my committment to the process. Validated by my committment to continue. And validated as I observe myself taking the project of writing into a process of writing.



From → Blogging, Iowa, Life, Writing

  1. Write on!

    • Thank you…. I am beginning to believe it no longer becomes a choice… writing becomes an identity… ! How is your writing going?

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