Distraction or Displacement

This blog has been quiet for a couple of weeks.  All my writing, including novel rewrite, has been quiet in the last while. The reason I proffer is that Peppa Pig HAD to be knitted for a little three year old. Given that I’ve not knitted since sometime in my secondary school career taking on a tricky fiddly knitting project seems slightly hair-brained, to say the least. Or just another displacement activity?

And it may be that I was looking for an excuse, any excuse, to distract myself from the slog of the rewrite. But in the end, as you all know, there is no getting away from writing.  As the needles clacked and clicked and stitches dropped thoughts turned to various plot points that needed reworking. Just as many parts of Peppa’s head and legs needed to be ripped and cast on again, so too with writing: write, delete, write again, delete, write better. (apologies to Beckett)

Knitting, as a friend pointed out, teaches patience.  Row built very slowly on row, the pattern had to be read very carefully and it wasn’t till it was all stuffed and stitched that the full picture came together.  As with writing, I was impatient to find out how it would look in the end. And, despite the fact that the audience for Peppa is a three year old, attention to detail was crucial.  The white of the eye and the black pupil knitted separately and then joined up. While the little girl may not know the intricacies of how it was knitted she most definitely will recognise when something is not authentic.

Just as readers may not know the ins and outs of how the story is worked out and put together they will certainly twig when something is out of place, or does not ring true.

The solstice, and thus year’s end, is only days away. In this part of the world we anticipate ‘the stretch’ in the evenings and brighter weather.  Lessons learned from knitting arm me to return to writing with renewed vigour. Or was it all just a displacement activity?  Thing is, apart from any lessons learned, I may also seriously have caught the knitting bug. It is a great distraction when dark days and evenings press all around.

Happy writing.

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