Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writing and Knitting

I just read an enjoyable interview of author Jessie Crockett found here in which she compares writing to knitting. As a writer and knitter, I love the comparison! I'm sure I'm not alone. Many writers are knitters, and vice verse.

Both knitting and writing are creative processes that people can do strictly for themselves. Many people knit or write for their own amusement, not worrying about how the end product will look to other people. However, both are far more fulfilling when you do them for others.

When you bring other people into the equation, suddenly you have to be a lot more attentive to the process of creation. If I'm just knitting to keep my hands busy, a dropped stitch here, or a loose end there, doesn't really matter. If, however, I'm knitting a scarf for my grandmother a dropped stitch means I have to get out the crochet hook and fix the problem before it gets worse.

Writing is exactly the same. When I'm writing an early draft (especially in November) I know no one else is going to see what I write... at least not in its current form. I drop stitches all over, write notes to myself, use words I know aren't perfect... in short, it's a mess. But then, when it comes time to revise, I have to go back and edit my writing, tuck in the loose ends, and pick up all those dropped stitches.

Sure, it's more work to write or knit for others, but in the end, I get to enjoy both the process of creation, and the knowledge that someone else will enjoy what I created.


  1. An interesting analogy. You're so right about the difference between writing for oneself and writing for publication. One is a pure expression or entertainment, while the other is a product. The former is therapeutic or fun, the latter is work--and hard work at that.