Sunday, October 25, 2015


For me, year end isn't so much about December 31 but the end of the craft fair season.

All of my efforts for the year are pretty much geared towards the sales that happen in Oct/Nov/Dec.  If the textile isn't woven and ready in time, I don't stop pushing, I just push those textiles into the next year.

This year was challenging, there is no doubt about that.  But knowing the surgery was coming I was able to make plans for recovery and work my weaving into my physical therapy in a way that benefited me.  When I looked at the filled booth at the U yesterday, I felt a certain level of satisfaction that healing had happened, and recovery, while that isn't 100% yet, has been quite good.

Seeing the extent of my inventory means that I am satisfied that I have sufficient stock to make it through the next three shows without looking as though my booth has been thoroughly picked over.  I made more place mats than I did last year, and there is an excellent supply of tea towels.  Not as great a variety as I would like, but depth of stock of what I did make.

The supply of scarves is pretty decent and I still have shawls to finish, er, finishing, and which will be ready for the show next weekend.

Depending on how well the last 3 (four, if you count the guild sale Dec. 5/6) sales go, I might even have enough inventory left over that some of the pressure of making more will be eased.  If so, I will be ramping up efforts to write The Book.  I should have a good 5 weeks in Dec/Jan to write.  In that time frame, if I work at it every day for at least an hour, by the time Mary come in mid-January, I might even have something worth showing to her.  I also have a couple of alpha/beta readers locally and am waiting to see what my alpha reader has to say about the first 9 pages.  (Probably that they need heavy duty editing - I fully expect them to be crap because you have to sift through a lot of dross before you find gold).

Mostly at this point I'm looking for feedback on 'voice'.  Because once I've determined my 'voice' the words should flow more smoothly.  Or at least, that's my theory.

Writing a technical manual is - shall we say - challenging.  How to convey the information without being so obscure no one understands what you are trying to say?  Or too condescending?  (Do I really want to write a Weaving for Dummies?)  Too casual or too pedantic - either are not good, in my opinion.  So I want to strike a balance between sharing my experiences - which are admittedly subjective - with 'hard' facts - the stuff that is generally 'true' for most.

In a 'soft' craft like weaving - your mileage may most definitely vary.

So, I have assembled a team of people who I know will give me honest (but kind) feedback, people who have expertise I don't have, and shushed my Inner Critic (mostly).

I still have doubts that I can produce a 'good' book but I'm going to try.  Ultimately the buying public will be voting on how well I managed.  I'm also taking a huge gamble by self-publishing.  But doing it under my complete control means that I will produce something that I can put my name to, and not have to worry about someone else editing it and determining if those xxx pages are all necessary or not.  It will have as much information as I can think of to fit in, no cuts because it will cost too much.  I will control the finances I put into this and I will determine how much needs to be included.

Am I a control freak?  Why, thank you for noticing!  I suppose what I want is to write the book I wish had been available when I started to weave...


Peg Cherre said...

There is absolutely no doubt your book will be a gem, so stop worrying about that! I do envy your ability to transmit information in a kind, gentle, and clear manner.

And I NEVER think I have enough stock. ESPECIALLY since I've mostly been doing custom weaving for the past 2 years....nowhere near enough time to weave for the shows!

Nancy said...

in my day job I am developing the content end of our materials, and so I understand what you are saying about the appropriate voice. Working with my editor (who is also working on training materials for me) we provided several versions of the same textthat brought in lesser or greater depths of the synthesis of the material. That made it easier to see what we liked and didn't like about the various iterations. It also did help us come to a conclusion as to the voice of the final product. It may or not be helpful, but determining "who" your audience is will help. Are you writing for the whole known weaving world - newbies to experienced? or are you starting with a certain level of expected knowledge? That may inform your voice, and also determine what additional footnotes or informational boxes you may include on a page.
However you choose to go about it, I know that you'll be the master of your time management, and I look forward to reading you in print, after learning from you in person! press on!

steelwool said...

Have seen your you-tube videos, and have bought 2 videos from interweave of yours, and I would definitely purchase book sight unseen. Common sense has become an oxymoron, something that is not so common anymore. "the common sense approach to weaving", an opinionated version , however you want to approach the subject, I'm waiting. Very tired of the"" my way or the highway approach that is out there now. I'm learning from your blog . We, your readers, (followers) aren't worried, don't you be.

terri said...

You write well--that's clear from your blog. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

(If you need it, I might be able to volunteer some time to help with editing the manuscript, depending on the timing of things...)