This post isn’t about the fact that suddenly all the music on the radio has an ’80s vibe and how old it makes me feel…though it could be and maybe should be.
It’s about revisiting things that made me happy in the past, but I’ve ignored for a while. 2021 is plugging along in its own way. Not good. Not bad. Just 2021. I’m willing to bet much the same is true for you.
Lately, it’s been quilting. I took out my trusty sewing machine last March so I could make masks for friends and family…and broke it. Fortunately, I could get a new one before they sold out everywhere. (Thanks, Mom!) I made masks, but little else, even though I love to sew and have for years. In fact, I’m a world class fabric hoarder. (Which paid off handsomely for mask making, so take that hoard haters.) I just never found the time or the project. I’d go in fits and starts, like my 2016 NYC Comicon costume as the Grey Lady.
There’s much to love about my new machine. It has bells and whistles that I’ll struggle to ever use, particularly if I don’t sew frequently. So when I was asked to make something for a new baby, I agreed. At first, I thought I’d knit a baby gift, but that wasn’t happening. (Knitting seems to have been another victim of COVID.) So I turned to quilting.
Fabric shopping was all I remembered, and since I don’t have babies in my life, I had a blast picking out all the necessary supplies.
So I drug out my dusty quilting books, planned, sketched, and revised those plans. Then cut…well, you don’t need to know the whole process, and I swear I’m getting to the point.
So, what does all of this have to do with writing? First of all, the process of making a quilt is not unlike writing. Planning a quilt and a plot are similar. everything out. Fabric and word choice has to be specific. Sewing is stringing along fabric, just like stringing words together to create a specific image, and I delete, just as my trusty seam ripper gets a workout from time to time.
Anyway, not to beat an analogy to death, quilting and writing share lots of characteristics, and being successful with my quilts (I think they came out pretty well.) reminds me I can be a good writer, too.
Things have been tough, and I’ve read enough social media posts to know I am not alone. And if you’re struggling, too, maybe take a look back at things that made you happy in the past. Perhaps you’ll find some joy in them again.
And I swear my next post is about what I’m working on now.