Writing vs Other Hobbies

Writing is my passion, but I do have other hobbies.

I’m remodeling a doll house.  It’s slow going, because I need to make more room to work on it, but I am slowly collecting the stuff I need for it.  (And even it is writing-related — one room is going to be a writer’s loft/studio/office.)  And every once in a while I attack the chaos in my craft room in the vain hope that someday I can work on the doll house down there.

I have lots of stuff for scrapbooking.  (I seem to have a paper addiction.)  Like the doll house, though, there is a space issue, but I long for a time and place to spread it all out and create pages.  (I want to make two poetry scrapbooks – one of my poetry and one of favorite poems from other writers – and a ScrapBook of Shadows.)

I also love houseplants and am hoping to create some fairy gardens soon.  (Thank you, Pinterest — I needed another hobby.)

I can crochet and would like to do more of it — maybe this winter.  (I just got a book of crochet motifs and some of them are just so neat… They make me want to start hooking again.)

(Erm… that didn’t come out quite right…)

And there are lots of other things I want to learn: beading/jewelry making, spinning, wood-burning, leather-working, wood carving… pretty much anything that involves working with your hands and creating something.

But my main addiction other than writing is counted cross stitch.   I will not reveal the amount of floss and fabric I own, or the number of projects that I have started, or the number of charts that I haven’t started.  Let’s just say that I hit S.A.B.L.E.)  (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) a long, long time ago (and probably in a galaxy far, far away).

A conversation with Warrior Poet of Writers Two reminded me of a realization that I’d had once before:  counted cross stitch is a lot like writing.   You start with a blank piece of fabric (paper) and with needle and thread (pen and ink) you create something.  At first it’s just a blob of color on the fabric, but eventually it takes shape and becomes something recognizable — just as a novel forms from a few nebulous ideas for characters and scenes.

My only real problem is balancing my hobbies.  Granted, during NaNoWriMo months there is no balance needed:  word count clearly trumps stitch count.  But the other nine months?  Yeah.  Things get tricky there.

I want to write.
I want to stitch.
But unless I learn to do one or the other with my toes I can’t do both at the same time.

One of the nice things about counted cross stitch is that it does require concentration and focus.  It provides a break from thinking about the novel and lets that part of me recharge.

But I can (and do) keep a pen and notepad in my stitching nest.  You know… just in case…

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