Two years ago, my aunt sewed me a quilt by hand for Christmas. She made me promise to use it and not just display it, so on cold nights, I crawl under it and am warmed by thoughts of the many, many evenings she spent piecing it together, how she designed it especially for me with geometric patterns and materials in my favorite colors and subtle outlines of kittens and puppies that can only be seen if you’re close enough to wrap up in it.
In our circle of writers, we talk a lot about writing as a job that needs discipline and deadlines, and we judge our dedication by the number of words produced in a week. Commitments like these are necessary to keep moving ahead toward a goal (or an income), but I think it’s important to remember that writing is also art. Even though art can often be functional and beautifully mass-produced on a schedule, it also has an element of elusiveness. There are stories that flow naturally from your soul, come together on their own, and feel perfect exactly the way they hit the page–so much so that you wonder if someone else wrote them. But there are also stories that get rewritten and cut up and dropped on the floor, only to be recovered and reorganized and reset until they end up as close to your heart as a hand-stitched quilt. Continue reading “It Shouldn’t Be Taking This Long”