Yes, I realize that I have only been gone for a week, but there are some good reasons for that, and as an intensely verbal person, I feel the need to explain them. Briefly, I hope-- I never quite know where I'm going to end up when I start writing.
To begin with, hat 9 is finished... but not ready for her close-up. She's very pretty and I want to do her justice with nice pictures. So no FO Friday post this week-- but that's not the only reason. I recently received a comment on one of my earliest posts here-- someone took the time to read back through my blog and leave me positive feedback, which completely blows me away with gratitude. That post was very personal-- though still knitting-related-- and it took a lot of effort to write. It's the kind of thing I haven't written in a while. In fact, it seems like I'm mainly posting about my works-in-progress and FOs. With a new project every week, I certainly don't lack for material. Well, lately I have been more interested in writing about other things, yet I still continue plugging away on the same topics. That comment really brought home what I have been missing.
Writing well is important to me. I'm proud of my work and the process of writing is-- generally-- good for my psyche. Sometimes it brings clarity to complex thoughts, though more often it uncovers layers of complexity that weren't apparent to me when I started. It can be hard to surrender to this process without worrying about the outcome-- Monday I spent much of the day writing about my recent conversion to a near-vegan diet, only to forgo hitting "publish post" at the last moment. It's hard not to feel a sense of failure in that, but like hat 9, the topic is not quite ready for prime time-- and maybe it never will be. Even though the words didn't, in the end, add up to exactly what I wanted to say, I took the time to seriously explore the topic, so I don't feel like the time or effort were wasted.
Thing is, writing well-- for me-- takes a lot of time. Lately, it has been taking time that might be better spent sleeping, or exercising, or doing any number of other things that are good for me. Reading back over my last few posts, I notice a certain brittleness of tone that, while at least mildly entertaining, worries me. Stress is creeping in. I have the ability to drive myself very hard, but only for so long. When I lay awake going over what to write, or stay up too late after work to finish knitting so I can take pictures while the sun is still out, when I tell my husband for the twentieth time, "Just a few more sentences"-- things have gotten out of hand. And that isn't an easy thing to admit to myself or anyone else.
So I have decided to give myself more freedom. I've really enjoyed linking up with WIP Wednesday and FO Friday-- it's great to feel like part of a community and get loads of visitors and feedback. But with the limited time I have available for writing AND maintaining health/sanity,* it's not realistic for me to always time my posts appropriately. I also think this blog is better when I'm really excited about what I'm writing about. In a given week, it might be a technique I'm obsessed with, or a great recipe I've tried, or yarn that I'm loving (or hating). I will continue to have hats to post about, and it seems less insane to post about them when I am decently well rested and have nice pictures to share. If the planets align, I will share my FOs on Friday.
The tricky thing will be to enjoy this freedom without excusing laziness-- which often results when I have set too ambitious an agenda and then burnt myself out trying to achieve it. I seem incapable of doing things incrementally-- it's either frenetic activity or utter lethargy and negligence. The 52 hats project is my attempt to sustain effort and commitment. The knitting part has been relatively easy and fun-- I think I have always known that writing about it would be the hard part.
However you have ended up here, I hope you will continue dropping by-- I promise I won't spend all my time blathering on in this fashion. Next week, I'm going to try my darnedest to post a hat pattern that I've been promising for a while. Now that I've given myself permission to breathe a bit, maybe it will actually happen...
*Oh yeah, and the small matter of the 52 hats I'm supposed to be knitting...