Woke up this morning to fairly steady snow so it's beginning to look a lot like winter.
With the solstice just a few days away, I always feel as though the turning of the diurnal cycle is the 'true' beginning of the new year, much as our far away and long ago ancestors must have felt. I don't live all that far north, although it's a lot further north than many. Our town is just far enough north that we really notice the shortening days of winter. Our reward is the long days and short nights of summer.
But, back to the 'new year' thoughts...
For many years, by the time Christmas and the New Year arrived all I could do was just get through the season. For a weaver (or any other craftsperson dependent upon the Christmas craft fairs), the veil of exhaustion from a year's worth of production then a couple months worth of (sometimes frantic) show schedule, collapsing for a few weeks before entering the fray again was the top priority.
As I have gotten older, it seems to take longer to feel rested and able to enter the fray all over again.
All of the above had a factor in my decision to write The Book. If I have an income from some other source, I won't need to do so many shows. We won't have to white knuckle our way through the Rocky Mountains - in November - there and back again.
But I also have a more...altruistic...reason for writing The Book. I want to share some of what I have learned with others. I want to do it in a way that makes sense to new-to-the-craft weavers. I have shared hints and tips frequently here and other places on the internet, done the two DVD's, produced a large book with woven samples. I am no stranger to writing.
Thing is, writing The Book is much more difficult than writing blog posts or the occasional article for a magazine. There is a stream of logical thought that needs to happen so that people can easily follow the process. If they can follow my thread of thought, they will more easily be able to understand the processes.
Weaving is not a straight forward craft. (I doubt any of the traditional crafts are, but I'm most familiar with weaving.)
There are layers and layers and layers of subtlety. Everything depends. Things change when equipment, materials and intended function change. How can I convey that subtlety without losing people in their journey through the many twists and turns my thought processes take when I design a textile?
Writing The Book feels very audacious. When I get tired, I get discouraged. When I get discouraged, I find it more difficult to find the thread to follow without getting lost my own self. How can I guide someone else through?
And then I think about all that I have learned and I don't want that knowledge to just...get lost...when I'm gone. And so I go back to the text and I pick through the threads of my thoughts and try to weave them into a coherent story. The story of cloth.