I wish learning to write were as simple (I didn't say easy) as learning to spin yarn. In a little more than a week, spending 15 to 60 minutes a day, I have made great strides (I think) in turning fluff into string. I didn't take pictures of the ball of thick and thin I made at first (but I still have it.) Here are the three spindles I have so far. The first is the Corriedale roving and yarn, then there is the bit of Rambouillet I made last night, and then there is the Romney/Dorset cross (I think).
If I took the twisted thread off the spindle it would untwist a great deal. In order for it to be yarn it needs to be finished -- involving washing -- but first I plan to ply it. This means it will be doubled and twisted with more of itself. Then it should be stable. These are all skills I will have to learn. I don't think they're terrifically technical, I just have to do it.
What does this have to do with writing? First, you have to have quality material. The Corriedale, Rambouillet and Romney /Dorset sheep do a lot of the work, growing the fleece. Then the shearer removes it properly so that whoever cards and combs the fleece can properly prepare the roving, which is the bits of fluff you see next to the spindles. All the spinner does is spinning the fiber and wrapping it onto the spindle -- a small part of the job.
As a writer, I hope to find. observe, or remember the fiber of a worthy story. Then my job is to form that into a thread that binds a theme and a plot together. Much harder to do than to just grabbing some fluff and wrapping it around a spindle.
Often, I drop the spindle. I didn't manage to get the leader, or first bit of thread, wrapped properly around the hook. Then when I start to turn the spindle, it just flies away and falls with a clunk on the floor. Funny, but my writing does that, too. Stories have hooks -- but I often don't recognize the hook of a story, and my valiant critique group points it out. Then I drop the first pages of the story and pick it up where the story really begins. I've been so twisted up in "but it really happened!" that I don't know where the hook is.
When you put on a sweater, do you think about all those people putting their hands on it? If you have a hand knit, handspun sweater, you should! I'm looking forward to knitting some of my handspun yarn into something... maybe a tea cosy.... I'm also hoping that some day I'll be able to write a story without my critique group, which I wrote about last week or so, having to pick me up and point me in a new direction!