Thursday, August 3, 2023

5 Ways Crochet Can Help us Persevere in Our Writing Endeavors

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

When I’m not writing or reading, I like to knit and crochet. I usually focus on small projects that I can complete in a few hours. They give me that little “I finished it” thrill which is in short supply in my one-book-a-year writing life. 

A few weeks ago, I had the *joy* of experiencing significant flight delays that left me chilling in the airport with time on my hands. I pulled out my crochet project and whipped up a few little coasters in a colorway that I find soothing. 

And of course, because I can relate anything to writing, I started thinking about the similarities between my favorite creative pursuits. 

It turns out that there’s a lot to learn from the things I have no problem with when it comes to crochet but that I struggle with in my writing life. 

5 Things Crochet Can Remind Me About Writing

1. If I don’t pick up a hook for a while, I forget how to make even the most basic stitches. 

I have to bust out some YouTube videos or online instructions to remind myself how to do what I claim I know how to do. But when I crochet daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes, it’s like my hands just know what to do, and they do it. 

Same with writing. I may (cough, cough) know a writer who has had a lot on her plate/mind/heart for the past few months and recently had to look up her hero’s last name. Because…she forgot. She’d been away from her manuscript for too long. Way too long.

This particular writer has been through this before. And she knows that once she starts writing again, the words will flow. Her hands and mind and heart will sync, and she’ll be able to create a story. But when she has to start over after a long time away? It hurts. 

Because she knows it hurts, she puts it off. Which just means it will hurt worse to start. When she finally gets back to it, she spends several days remembering how to do something she claims to know how to do. 

There’s a lesson here about not taking long breaks, but that’s too convicting so I’m not going to bring it up. 

2. Even when you follow a pattern, the end result will be uniquely yours. 

Why is this? Well, every crocheter has their own way of holding the yarn and hook. Some crochet tight. Some loose. Some will choose to follow the pattern but use a larger hook or a thinner yarn. And each artist will choose the yarn that they find most appealing. 

Same with writing. You could hand twenty different writers the same basic story idea and you would get twenty different versions. You’d get poetry, historical, fantasy, and romance. Some would be short, some long. All would be unique to their author.

Every writer brings their own life experiences, opinions, dreams, and style to every story. That’s why there’s always room for a new storyteller to join our ranks. 

3. Sometimes you have to start over.

There are many reasons for this. For me it’s usually because I forgot to count, and I’ve added/dropped stitches and the square I was trying to make is now a trapezoid. Sometimes it’s because I think I’m doing it right and then realize I took a wrong turn with the instructions and there’s no saving it. It’s painful to unravel all that work, but I chalk it up to a learning experience and start again.

Same with writing. For me, writing the first few chapters of any story is as headache inducing as going without coffee. #donotrecommend 

One thing that has helped me is to realize that when I have to start over or cut huge portions of work to send the story in a different direction, that the time wasn’t wasted. I learned about my characters, and I figured out what not to do. It’s painful, but the sooner I accept it and do what must be done, the better. 

4. Over time, you might decide to try something new. 

I started my needlework journey with cross stitch when I was very young. I learned to knit when I was a new mom. And then a few years ago I tried my hand at crochet. I haven’t cross stitched in years. These days I mostly knit and crochet. 

Same with writing. You might start out writing poetry and then one day decide to have a go at a memoir. You might be writing nonfiction and then one day realize there’s an urban fantasy story brewing in your brain. Maybe you’re a romance author who tackles a Bible study. 

There’s no limit, writer friends! Your creativity will expand and refocus over the years. The beautiful thing is that you can choose to explore any or all of it whenever you want.


5. The true joy of crochet is in the process, not the finished product. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like to finish projects! But mostly, I enjoy exploring new stitches and having something soft and beautiful in my hands.

Same with writing. I know. I know. The publishing journey focuses on the finished product. I get it. I’m on a deadline myself. 

But sometimes, I write for no reason other than that I enjoy it. When I do, I remember that I actually love to write! I love shaping the words and watching something beautiful develop as I return to the keyboard again and again. 

Do you have a favorite hobby that has taught you about writing? I’d love to hear your story! 

Grace and peace,


Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing romantic suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy, but her grown-up reality is that she's a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations while she's sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas! 

Unknown Threat, the first book in her Defend and Protect series, was a 2021 Christy Award finalist and her previous titles have won the Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award. Malicious Intent, the second book in the series, released March 2022.

She is a frequent conference speaker and has taught writers all over the country. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after by signing up for her newsletter at LYNNHBLACKBURN.COMand @LynnHBlackburn on BOOKBUB, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM.

Featured Image: Photo by Imani on Unsplash


  1. What a unique analogy! Thank you, Lynn. As a writer who also crochets, I especially appreciate your comparisons to writing.

  2. I also love to crochet and will now look at this activity in a new way. Thanks for sharing these comparisons.

  3. I love how you tie it all together. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was about eight... maybe time to pick up a hook!

  4. Thank you for your encouraging words, Lynn. Great comparison and great lessons!

  5. Interesting comparison! I too crochet and will now look at how it hooks (sorry) to my writing.

  6. I love this analogy. And it makes me realize I haven't picked up my crochet hook in a while.:-)

  7. Fun and pertinent reminders for those frustrating times when I can't seem to get any 'good' writing down! :D

  8. Fun, and pertinent reminders for those frustrating times when I can't seem to get any 'good' writing done!