Blind Faith and a little bit of Math

Today I finished the body of the sweater I have been working on.  I still have to knit up the arms, but I don’t think that will take me more than a day or two.   I think I’m going to make 3/4 length sleeves because I don’t like things around my wrists, but this wool is too warm for a short sleeved sweater.  I’ve also changed the pattern on the kangaroo pocket a fair amount, putting one large cable design in the middle instead of what is shown in the picture.

I’ll post my own pictures when it’s finished.

Knitting is both very creative and very mathematical, and I think the combination of the two is a big reason I like it.  I’ve been working on the body of this sweater for two weeks, watching it grow and making adjustments here and there.  I trust that if I have done the math correctly (or if the woman who wrote the pattern did the math correctly), that everything will work out alright.

In a way, writing is like that.  It takes a little creativity, a lot of persistence, a bit of calculation and a lot of faith.  Faith that I’m good at it.  Faith that I have something to say.  Faith that I’m not wasting my time.

Like a sweater I can watch it grow and make adjustments, but I can’t know how it “fits” until it’s at least mostly done.  A book can’t be tried on during the process like a sweater can.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours writing with nothing beyond a few trusted opinions and blind faith to keep me going.

Today, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, was the first critique day in my writing class.  So far I only have a handful of feedback posts, but I’m feeling surprisingly good about them.  Some of the things people have suggested make a lot of sense and I’ll likely try to incorporate them in the future.  Others are what I consider to be a function of writing a novel rather than a short story (such as my character isn’t developing quickly – well, I have 400 pages to develop character, not 40).

The good points also seem really good – I’ve developed a rich and intriguing world that people want to know more about.  This is probably the best feedback I have received from the critique process so far, because it is the one thing that’s unlikely to change.

I can learn to write better, but I can’t learn to imagine more vividly.  Whatever creativity is within me is fully mature and finite.  That I have received positive feedback on my ideas is the best affirmation I could have asked for.

Today I feel that I am truly on my way.

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3 Responses to Blind Faith and a little bit of Math

  1. You ARE on your way, Kali. I’m so glad that the critiquing process that you dreaded so much has been relatively pain-free so far. I think that you may have just inspired me to join an online critiquing group. (I actually came across a few such groups while doing an online search the other day). Good luck with your future critiques!

    • tospinayarn says:

      I’m shocked and pleased that I could inspire you to do anything, let alone subject your writing to critique as writing is so personal. Even though it’s scary, something about it is freeing. I think it’s that this thing you spent hours on was created with the purpose to be shared, and sharing it fulfills its purpose. It’s very appropriately circular. Good luck! I look forward to hearing more about it. 🙂

  2. Tina Dempter says:

    GO Kali, GO ! I, for one, enjoyed reading your stories. I can’t wait for the novel (and the pics of the sweater too)! 🙂

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