Frog It!

I’ve been knitting for ten years now. I’ve made sweaters, dozens of scarves, a couple blankets, and one pair of socks that promptly felted when I wore them in the middle of summer with my cowboy boots. But even experienced knitters make mistakes.

Sometimes it’s a missed row in a pattern. Sometimes it’s a purl stitch instead of a knit. However big or small the mistakes are, sometimes there’s only one solution: you have to frog it.
“Frogging” a piece of knitting happens to us all—it means ripping out the knitting until you reach the stitch where the mistake originated. Once the stitches are repositioned on the needle, you can start over again to fix the mistake and keep knitting.
I resisted frogging when I first started. It took me so long to knit an item—I almost didn’t care when my sweaters were three sizes too big or when my cables went this way and that. I still don’t like it very much, but now I know I will be happier in the end if I fix the mistakes rather than plowing full steam ahead.
Sound familiar?
Writing, especially when you’re a beginner, takes FOREVER to get it right. When I started writing seriously, I didn’t want to undo any of my mistakes. I wrote on and on—sometimes 80K words long—even though there were mistakes that I needed to fix early in the draft. I just kept going. And sometimes in writing, unlike in knitting, the right choice is to move forward before going back.
But sometimes you have to frog the draft. It’s not pretty, it’s not fun, and you’ll likely have a tangled mess before you’re through, but it’s worth it. Editing, rewriting—all worth it!
Go forth, write, and if you need to, frog it! There’s at least one person on the Internet who feels your pain:
(You can almost hear her crying in the video! So sad!)
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3 thoughts on “Frog It!

  1. Luanne Smith says:

    Can you imagine "frogging" a manuscript before "cut and paste" on the computer. Having to hand write or type a new copy every time you revised would probably go a long way toward teaching you to get it right the first time. Ha!

  2. Neurotic Workaholic says:

    I like your comparison between knitting and frogging, and I can definitely relate to it right now in particular. There are a few major mistakes and flaws in my manuscript that keep nagging at me, and I know I have to "frog" the manuscript in order to fix it. I've never tried knitting in real life, though. I'm very accident prone, and I'm afraid I might stab myself in the eye with the knitting needles.

  3. Anna says:

    I don't think I could handle starting over again, but one of my favorite writers (the uber-talented Lauren Groff) claims that she writes a quick first draft, and then starts over again with a fresh sheet of paper—every time! I think I would go bonkers.I don't think I could function without my knitting needles, but I have heard nightmare stories about people stabbing themselves (accidentally). Husband stepped on one of my smaller needles when we were first together, and now he asks me almost daily to make sure I pick up my crafts. Such a nag!

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