A Writer’s Winter

I haven’t posted a word in over a month, not here anyway. What little extra energy I’ve had has gone into my fibers and writing about them. There are new posts over at Variations on a String if you care to read them, but you may not. That’s okay.  Aside from the uninspired prose describing my adventures with fiber, I haven’t written much since the beginning of December. Not here, not on the book I’m supposed to be finishing, and definitely not on the book I need to finish revising so I can send it out to potential agents.

Sometimes I feel like I spend a vast amount of time apologizing for not writing more regularly. I apologize on here, as if saying “I’m sorry for not being more consistent” is going to improve my SEO, or as if it’s going to make a difference to the very few people who actually visit this blog for my little essays on life. I apologize to myself for not working on my book. “Tomorrow,” I promise. “Tomorrow I’ll write an extra thousand words, honestly.” Sometimes I keep my promises, but not all that often.

I’ve always had a romanticized idea of the life of a writer involving waking up early and padding barefoot to the computer to write an inspired several thousand words before breakfast. I have this idea, because that has more or less been my process.  What I am discovering, however, is that the several thousand words that come so easily you can churn them out before your stomach insists on “At least a piece of toast, come on woman, feed me!” are not the words you want anyone else to read. They require intense editing, at best, and more realistically, complete restructuring.

Writers are architects and demolitionists. We’re like two-year-olds, endlessly setting up a block tower only to knock it down. We’re masochistic two-year-olds, though, because the knocking down doesn’t bring a whole lot of glee. I find it to be difficult mental work and taxing on my confidence in my ability to succeed.

Knitting and spinning and carding and sewing are the winter of my brain’s garden. While my hands work, my mind can lay fallow for a while, giving the soil a chance to rest and the bulbs of my creativity a chance to prepare to spring and bloom. I do not believe in the ever-dreaded writer’s block: only winter. Winter can last too long and kill the crop with cold, I’ll grant you, but that doesn’t mean it has no function. If I don’t write, it’s not laziness, really. It’s winter.

And if you’re just not buying that, well, be merciful because life is life. Between the holidays, the relentless colds associated with childcare, and planning for a major life change in the nearer-than-expected future, I don’t know when I’ll have the energy and focus to spend on blogging regularly again. In the meantime, please accept this humble offering of proof that I have not only been sitting on my rump eating chocolate and watching Deep Space Nine.


The fleece I washed on the hammock John helped me make.
A case I made for my interchangeable knitting needles.
A necklace tree I made so I could toss all the little boxes.
Yarn I spun and plied on a spindle, on a niddy-noddy John helped me make.

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