Sometimes I work when I look a helluva lot like I’m not working.

Doing the dishes, I consider how to open my essay in the most engaging way. Eating a nectarine, I ponder whether I need to factor as a character in this one, if this is a personal essay, or just an essay (and get the fuck outta there, writer lady!).

Cross-stitching is my pet lately. It serves two purposes, aside from making something damn awesome. It gives me something to do while my boyfriend watches one of the fifty billion “man” shows on TV at the moment. More usefully, however, it punctuates my day with something both productive and productive. Productive in the creative, making a lovely cross stitch way, but also productive because it gives me space to think.

Sometimes I just need to get in my head, and let my hands do the thinking. There’s something about working with my hands that frees up the mental space for breakthroughs. I’ve heard a theory about physical movement and the way your synapses fire away, but I think perhaps that was in relation to more strenuously physical things, like running or cycling.

Anyway, here’s my project, and it’s helping me think.

Do you have ways of thinking about your work that aren’t writing?