Advice from Singer

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I have seen this graphic floating around social media and every time I see it, I have a good laugh. First because I am a self-proclaimed non-domestic goddess… and yes, when you practice non-domesticity with the flair I do, you achieve goddess status. Second because the “advice” was part of a manual and is simply ridiculous in context of today’s world (and truth be told I would have found it ridiculous then if I had been around.) I can sew … if someone near and dear to my heart were being held hostage and threats of unspeakable acts were given if I didn’t sit down and sew … but only under duress and in dire circumstances. Yes, I did have the requisite class “teaching” me how to sew, and my poor beleaguered mother did her best to instill SOME measure of ability. She even gave me a sewing machine (yes, Singer) for emergency hems, etc. I don’t think I ever used it except for putting things on top of the cabinet for writing. After all, why do we have tape and safety pins except to help out in the emergency hem time? The bottom line is that when it comes to activities forcing me to sit still, I have little to no attention span for them.

I used to think there was something wrong with me because I have tons of friends who are crafty and love doing needle work and all the rest of it. But I have come to terms with the fact that the repetitive nature of sewing, needlework, knitting, crocheting, and (I’m prepared for the collective gasp here) scrap-booking, while soothing and mind-freeing for others, is a ticket straight to boredom for me. And once bored I get antsy, and once antsy I’m done with it. Which is why I have so many UNFINISHED projects that will never be completed. I think I have finally rid myself of them all. The closet full of fail taunting me was too much to stand.

But then I substituted writing for sewing, just for more giggles. Most writers I know, myself included, revel in the fact that we can do our work while wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers. When in thrall of the writing bug, the thought is not whether we have a sink full of dirty dishes, but more… “I have a sink???” if someone has the audacity to mention it. And oddly enough, the bug that hits me when doing domestic tasks and makes me all twitchy goes completely away when writing. Time ceases to exist. Place ceases to exist. The only thing that exists for me is the writing itself.

So how does that work? I can’t sit still to do needlework to save my soul, and yet can sit for hours on end while writing. What is the difference? I think it is that while I’m doing needlework, or as the case is being frustrated by the needlework not being completed the moment I pick it up, I never leave the here and now. The chair I’m sitting in doesn’t change, the room doesn’t change, and the repetitive nature of the stitches never change. But with writing, I sit down at the keyboard and enter the world of my characters. The room fades, the music I’m listening to fades, the very consciousness of self fades — I have become at one with the world of my characters and I am living and breathing through them. If I were aware of every keystroke and the repetitive nature of typing itself, I’d go insane, but I’m not. I have been transported into another realm.

But as much as the advice makes me giggle when about sewing, the first paragraph really resonated when I applied it to writing. So, I’ve created the template for the perfect cross-stitch piece to hang in my office. Now, who wants to make it for me… I’d only get as far as half of the third X before abandoning. 😉


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