Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why do you….?

I went to a meeting of my knitting group last night.  It was the first time I had been able to attend in about 6 months, so it was great to see everyone again and catch up on what's been going on.  We had at least one new person to the group last night, so rather than just going around and saying "My name is Susan", someone came up with the idea of everyone telling why they knit. 

Turns out a lot of us knit so we don't kill people!  In other words, we find it a great stress reliever and source of relaxation.  It's definitely that for me.  When my hours were so crazy, I sometimes went days without knitting a single stitch, and I could tell.  I was antsy to knit something! In reality what I was antsy for was to feel like I could relax for an hour or so.  As someone else expressed last night, I also like the fact that there is a tangible result of my knitting.  Something to show for the time.  I find this particularly true with lace projects.  It gives me a sense of pride to turn a few simple stitches into something that looks much more complicated than it really is.

I thought it was interesting though that the question was WHY do you knit, as opposed to when or how did you learn to knit, which is the more frequent question.  As I was driving home from the meeting, I started thinking, why do we do anything we do?  Or don't do for that matter? 

The answer is obvious when it comes to some things. I work because I need to make money to support myself. But why did I choose to be a lawyer, and why do I choose to work in the unique legal niche that I do? I eat because my body needs fuel to survive. But why do I choose some foods over others and, more importantly, why do I prefer junk and fattening stuff to things that are healthier? These are the types of questions I thought about last night while driving, and although I came up with partial answers for some, the answers to those questions are not my point at the moment.

The question that kept bouncing around my head is why do I keep trying to write creatively? I know that I am a good writer in a technical sense, it's more than 50% of my job most of the time. But determining the correct word for the intended legal consequence is very different from finding the perfect word to convey the imagery, feelings and tone you desire in a work of fiction.

I don't know that I can tell you why I keep trying, particularly when so much of the time it seems to end up at the bottom of the "To Do" list. I just know that I have to keep trying, even if it's in stops and starts. And if you're hanging around while I figure this all out, I'm grateful. And I'd be interested to hear….why do you….?

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