I was invited by the delightful and inspiring Hanna Andersson to participate in this not-quite chain-letter meme. Four broad questions, answers from, as you’ve surely surmised, around the world. Read Hanna’s answers here. I’ve passed these questions on to artist Rachael Ashe; I’ll let you know when she’s posted her answers.
What am I working on?
Many different things! Workwise, I’m editing a client’s memoir, preparing to both teach and speak about Mighty Ugly at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this weekend, and I’m getting into some serious preparation for Make It Mighty Ugly to come out in three months. It’s that last one that’s the most intense, but also in part the hardest, because it’s not, you know, paid work, and so I’ve been squeezing it in between other projects, but really I just need to sit in front of my computer for several days on end to write up the materials we’ll be making available (oh, yes, there will be materials!) and redesign the website, and start getting book-tour travel plans in order…
Not related to work, I’ve been knitting a Gaenor, crocheting granny squares, dabbling in watercolour painting, making ice cream and generally getting ready to enjoy the summer before the insanity of the fall arrives. Instagram is a wonderful place to follow all that.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t know what my genre is. Am I a crafts blogger? A creativity blogger? A book blogger? An author blogger? I work as an editor and writer, a book author, a workshop leader, a speaker. I work in crochet and in general crafts and in, I don’t know, is there a genre called creativity? Not-woo-woo nudging? I try not to spend any time thinking about this, to be honest.
But I do consider myself to fall into the very general category of maker/crafter/writer, and I suppose something that sets my work apart from others’ work in this area is that I’m intensely committed to talking about negative things. I am utterly unmoved by pretty posters delivering sparkly, diluted messages of hope, wonder, inspiration, and success, even though such posters and blog images seem to be ubiquitous especially in the realms of crafts and lifestyle blogs and sites and Pinterest. So, yeah. I’m inclined to view much of that content as a gushing stream of bullshit, and I’m very grateful for the few amazing people who valiantly swim against the tide, trying desperately not to drown.
Put more plainly, I like to focus on the truth of any given situation, not just the fantasy of it. The fantasy is the glittery Instagram of red shoes against a yellow-painted rustic floor. Reality is the dust bunny in the corner. I think the dust bunny is infinitely more interesting, and I wish we saw more of them. For they are not bad, they are simply real, and real is wonderful and important. And beautiful. The dust bunnies of life are freaking beautiful.
Why do I write/create what I do?
I write and make because if I didn’t I’d go, for real, insane. Writing is the way I exorcise my demons; making is how I keep myself from sloth and depression. Also, I love the people I meet because I do those things, and so doing them is also a way to continue meeting these people. People like you. There, I said it.
How does my writing/creating process work?
I don’t have a process, per se. Nothing that’s replicable. I write when I need to get something out, or when I have a deadline. I make something every day, as a new habit this year. Sometimes I do it all in the mornings, sometimes in the evenings, sometimes in the afternoon. Usually at home. Rarely with bourbon. The most reliable places I associate with developing new ideas are on public transit and in the shower.
And there you have it! I admit I surprised myself with the, you know, negativity in that one answer. But it’s the truth, so. Yay, dust bunnies!