When passions collide

That sounds like the title of a bad Romance novel. But I’m not talking about that kind of passion. I’m talking about what happens when pursuing one activity we have a passion for takes time away from another activity we also have a passion for. It seems easy enough to say that whichever claims the most of your time is the one you truly care about.

Photo by Ula Kapala | stock.xchng

So what do you do when one is a hobby, and the other is the thing you claimed as your calling?

Our knitter’s group at church is making hats for the military. Yes, we know they don’t need wooly hats in the summer, but if we wait till winter to do the knitting, the hats won’t be done until spring. So we knit now.

And now it’s harder to stop knitting and start writing. I don’t truly fear dozens of soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines would freeze their ears off without my multicolored hats. I trust they will be provided for, with or without me. But next to my comfy chair is a basket of yarn, an assortment of patterns to choose from, and a specific need my skills can fill.

In the other room, by the computer, is my folder full of scribbled notes, magazine clippings, and half-formed ideas. In the computer I have Snowflake Pro and Find Your Story — each partly filled out with this half-formed story about an accountant.

But it’s easier to sit in the comfy chair and follow a pattern, turning yarn into a hat to meet a known need, than it is to sit in the desk chair and extract, from my poor addled brain, a story that, although unique, meets no known need.

My love of knitting and my love of writing have collided. And yes, my fear of failure may be silently prompting me to put off that half-formed (or is it half-baked?) novel that no one may ever want to read anyway — I mean, who ever heard of a heroine who’s an accountant? Are you kidding me?

Or is it just that the wool and the needles and the intertwining cables tell a different kind of story, and I want to see how it ends?

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.

3 comments on “When passions collide

  1. Ah, but your writing about your lack of writing, is one that proves (in a rather meta sort of way) that you are not yet done with either. Fear not, just as your knitting falls subject to the whim of the season, so too will your other passions. Everything works in cycles, and the manifestations of our passions are no different.

  2. Dearest Kristen,
    As far as the novel goes, It truly sounds as if it could be intriguing. I know only too well though, that it must form itself with the words that are given by the Lord and, sometimes we may get ahead of ourselves. When I run across this dilemma, I try to allot a certain amount of time to each subject and the one that is in dire need usually takes over. I always have this feeling of too little salt being added to potato soup. You never can tell exactly how much is not enough until it’s done. Just as the potatoes absorb the salt, so will the thing that needs the most of your time. My problem is that I feel as if I will surely run out of salt. Then is when I must remind myself of the fishermen with the basket of fish and loaves, slowly and methodically the food was distributed among the multitudes, and without fail the masses were fed. So shall it be, if we just continue on with what we can.The Lord will intervene and make up the difference.

  3. I have a similar problem between writing and facebook.

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