Monday, April 09, 2007

Knitting Rules

The trouble with setting rules for yourself is when the rules get ensnarled in perfectionism. Like making rules for your rules, for example.

What with the New Year's resolutions then Lenten sacrifices, there's lots of opportunity for rules and rule breaking in this part of the year.

Knit from your stash, unless it's sock yarn which doesn't count, and besides you get one gimme anyway, and babies don't count either.

Knit 40 days for others, unless you get distracted, or you decide that "others" just means "not me" so you can knit things for sale.

When I started this blog, I resolved to post every weekday, and I largely have. It's been important to me to meet that goal for a number of reasons. There is a blog in one of my blog rings that has a grand total of seven posts. That's the grand total, mind you, and the last update was in August of 2006. Take the damn thing down, or at least out of the ring.

When another blogger went for four months without updating, I decided she had died, and I went so far as to contact my sister with all my user names and passwords. That way, if I died, no one would have to read my unupdated blog for all eternity, wondering if I'd been hit by a bus. Turns out the blogger was okay, or at least that's what she said six weeks ago, when she finally resurfaced to add just one post, only to disappear again.

Really, though, it's not about blogging; it's about writing. I set the rule so that I would write every day. Right now, I'm facing a writing deadline, and it has nothing to do with knitting. I have a paper to present in ten days at the State Historical Society of Missouri. I really need to kick it into gear a bit more than I have been. The draft is due in three days.

I've been indulging in my bad habit I've mentioned before (aside from knitting instead of writing). I've been researching obsessively about a topic (sanitary fairs) that isn't due until May, whereas this one (an anti-clerical novel of 1851) is due in three freakin' days.

I have learned some really fascinating facts about the history of sanitary fairs. I've learned what was sold at them, eaten at them, raffled at them, and more. I've learned that raffles were quite controversial in that some churches considered them to be gambling. I've learned that the winner of the St. Louis sword-vote contest was General Winfield S. Hancock. I have no idea who he is, and when I realized I was about to look him up, I realized it was time to stop.

I'm off to write.

I promise to come back, maybe as early as tomorrow, maybe not. I haven't totally decided what the rules are yet.

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