Instant Gratification

My Pogona hangs around on a snow day! I love this shawl.

Well, not instant gratification, exactly… but this shawl took a little over two weeks, including running out of yarn on the bind-off and having to try again.

As a fiction writer, one of the things I love about knitting is completing something finite. The stitches end up off the needles, the needles are free for a new skein of yarn and there’s a beautiful object to enjoy.

With fiction writing, and revising especially, there’s no concrete finish line.

I cannot recall where I heard this piece of advice, most likely from Stevan Allred or Joanna Rose during a Pinewood Table session, but it has become my measuring stick of done-ness in a manuscript, sort of like sticking a thermometer into your dinner and seeing whether it registers the appropriate degree: Revise, and keep revising, until you’re only moving punctuation around.

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Knitting, Revision, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Instant Gratification

  1. Michael G-G says:

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. (I will have to thank Katy R. for putting us in touch.)

    I love this comparison of knitting with writing. It sure would be nice to have something finite (knitting), rather than a head-scratching “where is that finish line?” (writing). This analogy is close to home, as I thought I have a finished draft of my latest novel, but a close reading by a friend has convinced me there’s more to be done–and it’s not just the moving around of punctuation. Perhaps I should take up knitting for release?

    Hope you’ll drop by the blog again–today I’m giving away a copy of April Henry’s “Girl, Stolen.”


    • Hi, Michael! Thanks for dropping by my blog. I do think everyone should take up knitting–but perhaps that’s a different post? It’s such a strange thing to have a novel in progress for years and to keep hunting for that nonexistent finish line, especially when you think you’re there and then you realize, oops, not yet. But all that work makes the manuscript better, right?

      I’ll definitely keep reading your blog! Nice to “meet” you!

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