Birdsong Bows: October 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Writing a craft book

My 12-year-old already has a list of places she wants to go during her life, as well as a few goals she hopes to achieve. I don't know how young I was when I mentally started my own "bucket list," but I remember thinking seriously about goals when I was a teenager.

Knit a sweater. Check. Easy, but I didn't learn how to knit until I was almost 30 - despite (oddly) adding this goal to my list when I was 16 or 17. Travel around the world. Uh...not yet; still awaiting that rich benefactor. Win a Pulitzer for newspaper reporting. Sadly, no. I had to let that one go when I left the newspaper world.

Land a book contract.

Not an easy feat...but finally....yes!

For the past several months I've been writing my first craft book, "50 Ribbon Bows and Rosettes to Make", which will be published in summer 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin Press (in the U.S.) and Search Press (in the U.K.).

It's a consuming process that involves a lot of planning, a lot of organization, and...yes, quite a bit of time! My weekly schedule is packed with the list of projects for which I'll need to design and write/photograph step-by-step instructions. The photographs will be turned into beautiful illustrations by the publisher's illustrator. Additionally, I have to budget time to make beautiful samples of each bow, headband, or flower.

In other words - it's the Big Project. Thankfully I like Big Projects, because I enjoy breaking them down into their smaller, logical parts. That's the nerd in me. Writing a craft book reminds me of sewing a large quilt...choosing the design, deciding on the color scheme, selecting the fabrics...then sewing the blocks and turning them into rows. And after much work - they become a quilt top. Thankfully, the editors I've been working with are excellent and also make the job easier.

The writing should be complete shortly after the holidays and then it's onto editing...proofing....and waiting for those first copies to show up on store shelves.

And hopefully starting again. We'll see. It's not an easy accomplishment to land Book 1, and I know it's also a challenge to land Book 2. But my bucket list must grow as I grow, right?

What's on your bucket list?

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