Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Writing Books


On a chat group I belong to someone asked about 'good' books for a new weaver.  Many of the 'classics' were mentioned and then one person said this:

"Another vote for Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave book since it’s the book I learned from as well. And Laila Lundell’s Big Book of Weaving because it’s very clear. And ’s Intentional Weaver because it gives the nuanced and experienced guidance that other books don’t have."

I feel privileged to be included with such books.  

Over the past month, as I was struggling with my inner critic, several people took the time to contact me and thank me for Magic in the Water.  The Intentional Weaver is newer and fewer copies have been sold - so far.  But I did my best to explain the sciences of weaving and make them more understandable.  We rarely talk about all of the different sciences involved in the creation of cloth - the math, physics, mechanics.  Understanding how those work are, perhaps, less important that understanding what is happening when something is going 'wrong' and dealing with the actual issue, not just the symptom.

A bandage might help, but won't cure the underlaying problem.

I follow a number of writers online and it helps to see them all dealing with the same sorts of issues that I have, and am once again, dealing with.  Clarity of thought.  Explanations that dig deep into issues, trying to shed light where it is dark.  Growing knowledge.  Sharing the best information possible.

When I wrote Magic, one of the things I asked an alpha reader to do was let me know if I had the science right, or if my results were unique to me and not actual principles of wet finishing.  The feedback was positive - I had even explained something to them that they had never consciously recognized as being 'true' - and once they thought it through realized that I'd nailed it.

So far the feedback from the first alpha reader has been positive.  They are catching mostly minor issues, like tense, singular/plural, straight up typos, minor grammar issues.  The 2nd alpha reader should be able to start sending their feedback soon (life is busy right now for a lot of people - I can't express my gratitude to those people willing to assist to make this the best I can.)

Since sending the first 25 essays to the alphas I've managed to write six more.  Once I get all of their feedback for the first batch I will begin sequencing them.  Right now they are like a filing cabinet that has had its contents spilled out on the floor.  I think I need to have them 'organized' in some fashion or it will be jarring to read.  I think.  OTOH, when I wrote TIW, people just wanted me to dump the contents of my brain box out - and this has been pretty much what I've been doing.

In the meantime the troubleshooting continues.  The loom is still not weaving reliably.  Doug will send more photos to Louet today and we will wait for more feedback.  Yesterday SOS asked me to write an 'article' for them, so I did that this morning.  I was sent a list of questions to answer and since most of what they asked has been top of mind while doing the essays it didn't take very long to write.  Pretty sure I sent a much larger word count than they were expecting!  What can I say - I seem to have a lot of words in me demanding to come out.  

In spite of my inner critic, I will press on.  My inner critic isn't the one who needs to know this information.  It has been heartening to see the weaving community grow again after is contracted in the mid-80s and 90s.  My goal is to get the very best information I can out and hopefully prevent frustration because people are having problems they aren't sure how to solve.  

I have to admit I'm pulling on a great deal of hubris right now and the nagging of my inner critic is doing what such negative feedback has always done - made me more determined to do this and do it to the best of my ability.  It will be up to others to determine if I succeed.  Or not.

Anyway, when the essays are 'done' they will join TIW and Magic on blurb.com.  Rest assured I will let everyone know when it does...

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