Hello Women Writing the West and thank you for letting me stop by on my blog book tour. I'll be speaking about using blogs to market your books at the Women Writing the West conference later this month. It's a fun way to get people to learn about your book at the same time that you learn about other blogs and authors. I'm visiting 26 blogs during the first 26 days of October. It's the culmination of a long stretch of hard work!
The last couple of years I've been busy working on my newest book, Ethnic Knitting Discovery. Because the book includes information about knitting techniques from four different countries, I had quite a bit of research to do. I would have loved to visit all of the places I wrote about in this book, but then I'd still be working on my research! Because this book is more about knitting techniques and less about the locales that inspire the knitting, I was able to do my research as an armchair traveler. Since I love books, I dind't find this to be problematic.
I grew up learning many different crafts from my mother and grandmothers including knitting, crochet, rug-hooking, embroidery, and sewing. But I didn't stick with crafts as I grew up. I started knitting again in my late 30s, and also learned to spin and dye wool with natural dyes.
Before I returned to knitting, I spent almost 20 years working in corporate cubicles as a technical writer, designer, and creative services manager. My cubes were in military training facilities, small businesses, and large corporations. During that time, I wrote and designed marketing materials, training courses and technical manuals for many types of hardware and software products.
After all that time, I rebelled and left my cubicle behind to combine my interest in knitting with my skill at writing easy-to-follow instructions. Since then, my designs and articles have been featured in Family Circle Easy Knitting, Knitters, Piecework, Interweave Knits, Fibre Focus, and INKnitters magazines, and I design patterns for several yarn companies.
All of my work in technical writing and marketing communications has been very useful in developing my freelance career. That said, it still took almost ten years from when I started writing in notebooks until my first magazine article was published, and several more years until I was being published regularly and got a contract for my first book.
I actually never thought about writing knitting books until one day, when I was complaining about my job, a friend asked me, "If you can write a book about how to install hard drives, why can't you write a book about how to knit sweaters? Wouldn't you enjoy that more?"
Becoming a freelance writer is not easy, and you may always need a part-time day job to help make the bills, but it's well worth the effort if you love words and language and you have stories that you want to share with the world!