Saturday, October 16, 2010


End of the warp..........

In a 12 hour period I received two emails of note. The first one essentially said I was too intimidating for one of the chat groups I had been participating in and I was ruining the group discussions.

The second one this morning said that the workshop the writer had taken from me several years ago was 'weaveforming' for her (and if that wasn't a word it should be.) :)

Between those two emails I had to do a lot of thinking, particularly about my presence on the web.

I had to come to grips with the fact that my willingness to answer newbie questions was not being perceived as helpful but as being intimidating. I can understand that people might get the impression that I was a nosey-parker butt-insky. I just thought I was being helpful, answering heart felt cries for help.

Such is the nature of human behaviour.

It has been difficult for my ego to accept that I have outlived my usefullness in certain social contexts. When my participation puts a damper on social intercourse instead being helpful, it's long past time to go.

So I immediatly left.

But my nature is to be helpful. I truly hate to see people struggling with something when there is - perhaps - an easier way to do something and I may know one of those ways.

I do not, never have claimed, that I know everything. Anyone reading this blog regularly will be aware that I delight in the discoveries that come my way. That I don't profess to be a know-it-all but am rather, a perpetual student.

That I chose weaving precisely because I understood from the outset that I would never, ever know everything there is to know about the creation of woven textiles.

But I do know a great deal about portions of the craft and I have always - since my first newsgroup in 1994 - been willing to try to answer any questions that I could or point people in the direction of potential answers.

Since it has been made extremely clear to me that this sort of giving is not welcome in certain areas, I have had to re-think and focus on what I ought to spend my time doing.

It seems to me that it is time to withdraw from the daily interactions of chat groups even more than I have been doing the last few years due to health issues. It seems to me that my time would be better directed towards 'real' writing projects. Once my health issues are fixed (at least I am hoping that they will be next spring) and I am able to book workshops, that one thing I could do is be more active in soliciting workshop opportunities.

Up until now I have waited until a group contacts me. Perhaps after my surgery I should start sending out brochures/flyers offering workshops and let people know I am ready, willing and able to come to them to teach.

Right now there is little I can do to chart a new direction in that regard. What I can do is focus my time and energy on developing the content for the proposed ebook I discussed with Syne Mitchell last month. I have started weaving samples for this book and hope to be able to meet with her again during the Seattle Weavers' Guild sale to show her what I've done so far and see if it meets with her approval.

And last, but certainly not least, come to grips with the fact that endings simply mean clearing out old stuff so that new stuff can come in. :)


Sandra Rude said...

Let's hear it for beginnings! That's what every ending means - an opportunity to begin something different and new and exciting.

Anonymous said...

I do not know which group has sent you such an ugly missive, but in the chat groups that I lurk on, you have never come across (to me) as anything other than helpful, constructive and insightful. There are some other participants in these groups that I cannot say the same about, but they create their own electronic persona, and build or burn bridges as they please. The whole idea of an open forum is to encourage open discussion, including disparate and sometimes vigorously defended views. That is what makes them so rich in content. As long as opinions are presented politely and as opinions, that should not be frowned upon. I regret this little slap that you are having to grapple with, and if it involves a group that I monitor, I will miss your wise and helpful voice. I often find your points of great interest, and often presenting an otherwise ignored, but important perspective.


Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker. I'm not quite a newbie, but I am a little rusty. I have appreciated your presence in the online weaving group where I lurk the most often. In my opinion, your sincere desire to be helpful comes across.

barbara said...

Hi Laura - I can only say "Lord they know not what they say". Imagine taking offense to being offered advice. I am always so grateful for any advice another weaver can give me. I admire what you do, and have done in your career as a weaver. I suspect being on a lot of "chat" groups would take up a lot of time ..... Pick and choose. I can't speak for the whole weaving world, but I suspect those that have taken offense have no idea what you have to offer. Keep on doing what you are doing, and good luck in your new ventures. Thank you for all the sharing you do, in answering direct questions, writing your blog, and teaching workshops. You are the best!!!! Weaverly yours .... Barbara

Sharon Schulze said...

The thing is... there's always one in the group, isn't there? I have no idea what the email might have said but I hope you can put it aside as one person's opinion. One grouchy person, it would seem. :-/

I like the saying "Well-behaved women seldom make history" and I remember it every time someone says I've been too loud or noisy or inquisitive. Especially since things never seem to get any better in my life until I speak up, even if it annoys somebody.

I know you weren't being annoying, I know how many people you have helped, I know how grateful I was for your comments, especially in light of some of the other rude and pushy people on the various lists. But I think there is a common principle: you spoke up and somebody got annoyed.

But remember, things don't get smooth without a little friction! :-D

Peg Cherre said...

I can't believe it! I've asked you questions which you have graciously answered, sometimes taking a few back and forths because I didn't ask clearly the first time. I have learned a great deal from you, and have only been reading you for a few months.

I say the heck with them; life's too short, time is too limited, use your time, energy, and talents where they're appreciated.

Laura said...

Thanks everyone. When my presence in a group is squelching free discussion, I'm causing more harm than good and it's time to go. The last thing I want is to cause harm to the weaving community. It's always good to remember Abe Lincoln's wise words about pleasing some of the people some of the time, etc.!


Holly said...

Don't go! You participate in many of the same chat groups as I and I really value the information you share (and the time you devote to share this info). Please don't let one person stop your participation. Holly

Delighted Hands said...

I have also experienced the sharp sword after 'helping' someone. Since I have been this way my whole life :') and will continue to be helpful.....I chalk it up and move on. Glad you are doing the same. It is always interesting that in a group-half can praise you for what you say and half can get offended-you have no control over responses so just continue doing what is right for you and teaching is what you are. Thank you.

Joanne said...

If the person was commenting about the group I have seen your participation on in the last couple of months, please don't go. I can't imagine how anyone would think your helpf is stopping discussion. Please don't stop sharing your amazing knowledge with others.

sdmags said...

So sorry to hear that. I just wanted to add that every "answer" you provided to me and to others have been extremely helpful. Knowledge is power and thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

My online presence is on Ravlery and recently you have become active in some of my weaving groups there. I have enjoyed getting to know you and I have definitely benefited by the gracious way you willingly help new weavers! I'm sorry that someone has seen fit to make comments that are not encouraging. All I can say is that person is in the minority. There are some rather, shall we say, difficult people online and unfortunately they spoil it for the rest of us. For my part, I felt you encouraged conversation and discussion and were a huge help for newbie weavers such as myself. I'll be sorry to lose you from the groups.

DebbieB said...

Laura, I was delighted to see you appear on Ravelry. I have followed your blog for a long time, and learned a great deal from you and your years of experience, and most importantly, your willingness to share.

I am saddened that someone's bruised ego caused them to send you such a disheartening letter, and that it has spurred you to this action. I hope you'll reconsider - your departure is a major loss for our community.

I am DebbieB on Ravelry, and as a weaver/spinner I have been enriched by every morsel of wisdom and experience you've shared with us.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I must say that I have been tickled to see you posting on Ravelry. I have found your posting insightful and generous (I greatly admire your willingness to share your experience).

Sandy said...

First of all, congratulations on the new ventures and best of luck with everything.

But please don't let one grumbler keep you from adding your valuable voice to discussions. I have been most enlightened by your words of wisdom and experience in the groups where I have encountered you. You've been inspiring and educational.

As someone who has also been told at times that I'm too smart, too talented, too whatever to participate in a discussion, I can commiserate with the desire to pull away, but I can also tell you that the problem isn't with you -- I've never noticed you to be anything but helpful and encouraging -- but with the person who is, for whatever reason, feeling insecure.

Anonymous said...

I don' t know who would send you a nasty email. Have you ever stopped to consider the complainer may be jealous of your knowledge? I am going to subscribe to your blog. I don't want to miss out on any of the helpful information you freely share.

Syne Mitchell said...

Tis proof: crazy people are everywhere.

Add me to the list of your supporters!