Happy September 4 to ye! I have a very sentimental attachment to the Day After Labor Day.
The Day After Labor Day was the day I started writing a novel, eight years ago. It was very deliberate. I knew a week ahead of time that I was going to start writing on that date. I made a deal with myself that I would write for two hours every day, including weekends. To make it joblike, I decided to send an email each day to Hubbo confirming that I had done my two hours.
By New Year’s Eve, I had finished a first draft. It took another 18 months to revise and publish Bowling Avenue, but that first draft was such a joy. I did the thing!
This was the first time I’d done a writing project with such intention. How effortless it felt, this writing. It didn’t feel like work at all. I often went beyond my two-hour allotment. I dreamed solutions to plot problems. It got all up in my head.
It was great.
I treasure the memory of that experience. The thing is, the goal I set was not to finish a novel—I didn’t choose a deadline, in fact didn’t have any idea how long I would continue with my two-hour-a-day writing job.
The goal was to begin.
What does this have to do with knitting? Everything! Setting a goal is a powerful motivator. It can get you over the hump of your own doubts. It feels tidy. Maybe there’s a project you’ve been eyeing that seems a bit daunting. Maybe you’ve been thinking about brioche. Now that the season is changing, and the autumn light is starting to slant in on us, it’s a great time to think about something you want to do, and set a goal.
For everybody out there who’s starting to write a novel today, POWER ON! YOU CAN DO IT! JUST KEEP TYPING! SOMETHING IS BOUND TO HAPPEN!
PS Just for contrast, the photo up top captures my summer knitting, all of which was done without a single goal or deadline in mind. When I look at these projects, I see three total obsessions that I began spontaneously, scheming up the yarns for the patterns, enjoying the escape that knitting provides. Maybe that’s a goal: don’t overthink your knitting!