Happy Accidents

I’ve been thinking a lot about the creative process lately. And in my usual fashion lamenting how difficult my creative process seems to be. While others seem to create so fluidly, tossing off short stories and poems like taking off their socks, my process feels glacial. One of my hidden agendas in starting this Blog Business is to test my theory that more regular writing to an audience will lubricate my rusty creative wheels.

In addition to weaving words together, I occasionally weave strings together; I knit. There is a certain husband of mine with a birthday coming up & whose favorite hand knit hat has become a rather tattered affair. Having lost the pattern to the original hat, I figured I’d knit it without one. It’s a pretty basic design, once you figure out how big to make it (extra large in this case).

After I had finished the hat, not yet having cut the end so I could pull it back if I found a mistake in my decreases, I decided there was something a bit odd about the decreases. But interestingly, they were all consistently done in this odd manner. Not certain how to feel about this, I took the hat to work yesterday & consulted with one of my favorite colleagues & knitters, Peggy Michele, who agreed the decreases were unusual but consistent. And she didn’t call this a mistake. She called it a feature. My departure from the customary decrease pattern is actually a design element. And that makes this hat one of a kind, my friends. A happy accident.

I think this is similar to when writers say they get in their creative groove & are writing along with an idea of where things are going & then bam, two new characters show up in the middle of a conversation. The story’s path forks left and here we go without a map or compass.

For me that is happening when I am moving through the world thinking about my project’s road map. How do I connect this piece to the larger project. Where do I want this thing to go? I’m sitting on the bus with music in my ears and an idea comes. Someone sits down beside me & his cloud of cologne takes me on a journey that I could not have predicted & I walk off the bus with this image that I’m worrying like a lucky stone in my pocket, bringing out its hidden shine. Its features, if you will.

The world is a more interesting place when I am looking at it with writer’s eyes.Happy accidents may be easier to recognize when eyes & hearts are open to their possibilities.

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