One stitch at a time …

Looking back over my journals from the last couple of years, I noticed that I frequently whined about how little time I had for writing. I complained about how often stupid “life” stuff got in the way of writing.

I somehow managed to finish the rewrite of my book and get it into the Marcher Lord Select contest anyway.

Although I wish I could spend hours on end writing, as do those who are successful enough to quit their day jobs, it is still possible to write in smaller bits of time.

It is, I realized, like knitting.

With nothing but needles, yarn, and a little skill, a knitter creates fabric one stitch at a time. I recently knitted a blanket one hundred eighty stitches wide and two hundred forty rows long. That’s 43,200 stitches.

If each stitch were a word, I’d have half a novel.

Writing my novel was a bit like knitting that blanket. I’d work a few stitches or write a few words when I had the time, and when I didn’t, the work waited patiently for my return.

We are full to bursting with stories waiting to be told, knowing full well that we will join the choir invisible or see Jesus come before we finish telling them all. We become impatient, wanting to get them all written now, published now. But God is infinitely patient, and we must strive to be patient also. If we have “life” to deal with, whether it’s children to care for or leaky plumbing to fix or aging parents to shuttle between doctors, we have been given those tasks for a reason. The knitting, or the writing, can be done in the bits of time in between all that “life” stuff.

The only difference between knitting and writing is that I have yet to figure out how to work on my novel during meetings.

About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

5 comments on “One stitch at a time …

  1. Each stitch is a word…beautiful analogy, Kristen. 🙂

  2. Wonderful post, Kristen. Writers always say you should write for X amount of hours a day but I find I will have days, weeks or months that I write nothing at all. Then, God will unload a geyser of words from me and it is good because I prayed and waited for Him.

  3. Hi Kristen. I really like this analogy. It reminds me of another I heard during a time-management course: elephant-nibbling. The idea is that, when faced with a big task like eating an elephant, don’t try to finish the whole thing in one go but rather focus on nibbling a little bit at a time. Then, before you know it, you’ll discover you’ve eaten the whole elephant 🙂

  4. Good words! Now if only I could figure out how to do it…I rather suspect a season of getting up early may be upon me, I’m that desperate to dedicate some serious writing time.

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