There is a certain amount of...hubris...involved in being a creative person as your profession.
I mean, society is quick to tell someone when they have overstepped their boundaries, tried too much, failed in the process.
The internet seems to have ramped up that dynamic even more, perhaps because when you don't like what someone else has done, you can tell them, but do it from the distance of the internet. You don't tell them to their face, so to speak, which seems to make it easy to let people know they have 'failed' you in some way.
You don't like what they did, so it becomes extremely easy to let them know of their 'failing'.
I'm old enough to remember Thumper's mom who advised that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
Instead, someone will post something they made, something they are happy with, proud, even, and someone will come along and yuk all over their yum, as someone commented the other day.
In the nearly 50 years I have been weaving I have made a whole lot of stuff I have not been happy with. A lot of my stuff has something not quite 'perfect' about it. But someone once told me not to let 'perfect' kill 'good', and so I accept that I am not perfect but that I can make good cloth.
I can even write 'good'.
But even the most confident creative in the world likes to have a little positive feedback. Fortunately I get enough of that positivity that I find I can keep going.
Usually I would get that positive feedback when I travelled to teach. People would approach me to say they read this blog, or had my book (at the time I only had the one), or that they appreciated my input on the online group(s) I belonged to.
Now that I don't travel to teach anymore, that positive feedback is no longer there. And at times I wonder if anyone is paying attention. It seems like I send my words out into the ether, the great void, and see if anyone says anything.
Sometimes I do get an email, or a comment here, and I know that some of you are still reading. I can look at page views on this blog and know that yes, I do have a loyal 'following'. It's not just bots scraping my site so they can spam me, or leave 'ads' in my comments (which I remove).
I have had several people contact me, likely based on my page view count, asking me to tout their products. They will pay me, they say. I always turn them down. I won't 'shill' for someone, especially for products I don't actually use - or want to support.
Maybe it's because I'm old, now. I no longer feel the need to 'prove' myself to anyone. I've left most of the online groups because I'm tired of explaining, over and over again how and why things work in weaving, only to have people argue with me or tell me I'm wrong.
I know I can be wrong. But so can everyone else. And if someone isn't willing to take in more information and then base their decisions on additional information, I am not going to waste my time or theirs.
When I wrote The Intentional Weaver it was to fill a need that I saw - a compilation of the kind of subtleties involved in the craft that were not, to my knowledge, between the covers of just one book. (There may be others - I just wasn't aware of them - so I wrote a book to make it easier for my students to find, all in one place.)
When I wrote Stories, I wanted to expand on some of the things in TIW, and cover other things that were outside of the focus of a weaving textbook. And the latest, A Thread Runs Through It, to examine the reality of being a professional production weaver. Or at least, MY reality in that role.
I follow a number of authors on various social media. Over and over again, they all say the same thing - if you like what an author has done, *LET THEM KNOW*. Even better? Let *others* know.
Because I can believe in myself all I like - but that doesn't pay the bills. Selling books, does.
So, here's the deal. I'm not the only weaver writing books. If you really like someone's book, there are a number of things you can do.
Comment about it on your social media.
Write a book review.
Contact the author, let them know you found their book useful, helpful.
If all we get is silence, there is little incentive to keep writing. And it takes so very little to encourage us to keep writing.
Speaking of which Stacey Harvey-Brown has a new book coming out about Optical Woven Illusions. I'm sure she'd love to sell a few books...(just saying)...
Signed copies of The Intentional Weaver only available here