Monday, 1 March 2010

Spinning a Yarn

We talk about writing in a similar way to crafting. We gather material, spin a yarn, weave a tale, unravel a story. We talk about the craft of writing. The processes are definitely similar. We hunt for scraps of ideas, piece them together and create something new. There is skill and technique needed to put the pieces together and in the way we talk about what we’ve done.

Both writing and crafting feel familiar to me. They feel part of the same thing - the process of searching for ideas, connecting things together, standing back and looking at the whole. I am fairly haphazard in both. I jump straight in. I either plan endlessly or don’t plan at all. I am wild with the scissors. I trim and snip until there is very little left. I make mistakes and end up with something I like even more.

I like that writing and crafting feel similar. Writing seems to feel less daunting if I approach it in a crafty frame of mind. It has always felt quite physical to me. I move words around the page to see where they fit best. Like planning a patchwork quilt, it takes a bit of rejigging to see where each word should go. Sometimes it feels like I am sewing ideas together. Other times it feels like I am patching up something old and giving it a second chance at a new purpose.

Writing is handmade. I don’t mean handwritten, I use a computer to write as much as anyone else. I mean, it’s created by the act of making. It’s brain to hands to output. You won’t have a hat or a quilted bedspread at the end of it but you will have something equally handmade.