I've been in a bit of a state lately, and I woke up this morning finally determined to quit flailing about, arms pinwheeling as I try to grab onto something solid, and to just do whatever I need to do to get my feet back onto something solid.
First step: blog about something. So here I am.
In no particular order, here's what I'm thinking about these days, along with some questions for you and a little about the flailing:
- I've been writing about all the most salient things in my brain in my Friday newsletters. Along with the rest of the newsletter-loving world, this has (obviously) affected what I blog about. The result being that I send my letter out every Friday no matter what (except for those rare Fridays when I don't), and I don't blog as much. If you want to hear from me regularly, that's the way to achieve it.
- There is yarn all over the damn place. It's a welcome change, after spending the last several months making loads of things unrelated to yarn. But it's also for work (I'll be filming a new Craftsy class later this month), so there's a deadline (a very tight one) associated with it. And after a year of not working in yarn, this yarn work has thrown all my other work for a loop.
- But – and this is a huge but – the yarn work also has my brain buzzing with yarn-related ideas. I can't remember the last time I wanted to design something in yarn, but here I am thinking up designs. If I'm still into those ideas after I'm done filming, I may just start working on some new crochet designs. Maybe two. Maybe not. I like this feeling, though. It's fun and exciting!
- I haven't made soap in months. This is making me twitchy. But like many a side project, it's the first to go when the going gets nuts. I'm glad to have learned that soap is in the category for me, actually.
- Amanda Palmer is using Patreon (I'm supporting her at a very modest level), and obviously it's going like gangbusters for her. This is a platform I've been very intrigued by for the last year. I've yet to think up something terribly wrong with it. But I've also yet to think up a great way to use it, myself.
- Except that I've been starting to think of how I might use it in some way related to Compulsory. You may have noticed my production of the podcast so far this year has been… erratic. Like making soap (see above), I end up pushing it aside when other (ahem, paying) projects require more immediate attention. I'm not apologizing for this. This is how I cobble together my living. However, I wish this weren't the case, because I really love making the podcast. I want to make it regularly, and I want to make it for a long time. But it's fairly labour-intensive to produce. Every twenty-minute episode takes a total of about a couple of work days to make. That's a lot of time, which is why it gets pushed if something else comes up. I'm beginning to wonder if I could come up with a great way to solve this problem using Patreon. Maybe exclusively for the podcast, or maybe wrapped up with some other kinds of work I want to do. To be explicit, the problem Patreon (or, more specifically, patrons) would solve is that earning an income from producing the podcast would significantly raise its priority for me. Instead of having to push it in favour of paid work, I'd push something else. Or work other paid work around it. This is a big deal. There's a lot to consider. If you have opinions or ideas related to this, please let me know. After all, I'd rely on you to make it work.
- While we're at it, I'd love to know if there are certain kinds or types or topics of my work that you're most interested in. Is it Mighty Ugly? Book-writing? #yearofmaking? Blog writing? My newsletter? The podcast? Crochet? Soap? Other kinds of crafty things? Instructions or patterns? Essays? Should I just make up a survey, or will you comment or email or tweet me about it?
- The first quarter of 2015 has not played out how I'd anticipated it playing out. It's not a bad, it's just different. I'd planned on focusing heavily on editing work, more Mighty Ugly work, etc. But instead, I have much less editing work than I'd anticipated, got my Mighty Ugly ya-yas out at CreativeLive (my class is available for purchase now, by the way), and had this new Craftsy class come up. It's like there was a total bait and switch. Editing! No, wait. Crochet!
- This is, as I said, good. I love working with Craftsy (you can purchase my beginner crochet class over here, for a steep discount because I love you). I love keeping up with the students from my first class, and I'm looking forward to getting to know the students from this new class. This whole thing is the best kind of work, actually – I love the topic, the people at Craftsy are truly delightful and are very good at what they do, and I'm fairly paid. It's kind of sad, almost, that this trifecta is so rare to come by. I'm very grateful for it.
- Right, details. I'll be filming a follow-up to my beginner crochet class. It's turning into a sort of overview of all the iconic crochet fabrics we know and love, with a fair bit of focus on how to make good decisions about yarns, hook sizes and projects, and some math. Fun math. Good math. So if you know the very basics of crochet – how to make the stitches, how to increase and decrease and change colours – but want more, this class will be a good place to start. Obviously, I'll let you know more about it when it launches in a few months.
- Deodorant! I'm almost out of my first batch. In brief: it's not as effective as store-bought, but it's good enough. I don't walk around concerned that I'm stinking up the whole world, and I don't end up offending my own self by the end of the day. So I'm going to stick with it, because it's fun to make my own, I'm happy not to schmear my pits with harsh chemicals daily, and I like the bit of thrill I feel when I undress at night and discover how well my concoction has performed (it's amazing how varied the results are from day to day).
Ok, well. I'm not sure I mentioned all the things I wanted to mention, but there you have it. I have a pile of crochet demanding my attention, so I'd better get to it.
You know, I feel a little better having blathered on about all this. Thanks for reading if you made it this far (or even part way, though if you quit halfway through you won't see these thanks).