Writing is Like Unraveling a Knot

Writing is like unraveling a knot. It always seems to turn out that the twistiest jumbles are easiest to pick apart, while the simplest snarls morph into a recursion of stuck-fast loops in loops. To ensure our efforts are not for naught, we ought to be clear what a knot is or what it's not.

After all, sometimes a knot is not a knot. Many are tangles, more are bows ― and the unraveling is how we make sense of those.

Ah, the multicursal knot. Is it a tightness in the belly that concerns the doctor, a bottleneck in the doorway from some impatient kids, the clots in your state-of-mind during a tricky pop quiz, a unit of speed for sailors to mark their travels, a link that couples tie to seal the bonds of marriage, a hidey-hole for birdies formed in the blemish of a tree, a kink in the muscle for the masseuse to knead?

The first step to writing is often not the writing, but unraveling its purpose ― how should I do it, for whom, to what end? Writing is like unraveling a knot because once done, we are free to weave something greater than the challenge it represented: a new line of thinking, a web of relationships, a net to catch the imagination, a mesh of perspectives, a tress of the braid in a work of art. Your approach makes all the difference, for there are no Gordian Knots.