Thursday, January 27, 2011

don't throw it out

Check out the latest issue of Mystery Readers Journal. THere are interviews with many of your favorite crafty authors, including myself and my blog sisters. You can download an issue in minutes.

I'm being interviewed later today by Lain Ehrmann at She asked me if writing and crafting had anything in common. That is the subject of the talk I give at guilds so I've thought about this a lot. I see many similarities but the one that seems to reasonate with writers and quilters alike is this one.

There comes a point in nearly every project where you're going to want to throw it out. Don't.

For writers, it comes about 100 pages in. Usually this devil appears in the form of a much better idea brewing. The next story beckons and the urge is overwhelming. Many writers give in to this urge, not realizing it's a false promise.

For quilters and scrapbookers, the same 1/3-1/2 way mark is dangerous. You're not completely satisified with what you've done. You're sick of your fabric and your sewing is pathetic. Your layout skills have abandoned you. The Keepsake Quilting Catalog comes with full color pictures of lovely quilts or you can't avoid the lure of shopping. You buy new and different tools.

It's the same experience. You've gotten to a tough place. Maybe you don't know where your novel is headed. (I can guarantee you this one.) Maybe you don't have the skills to finish your craft project. It feels like starting over is the only way. You convince yourself it's this particular book, or project that has flaws beyond help.

Not true. And you need to learn what it takes to finish. Not getting to the end only serves to keep you running in place.

So phone a friend. Get some help. Say your prayers. Do whatever it takes to finish that book, quilt, project. It's the one that will vault you into the next level of your craft.

What project do you need help finishing?

1 comment:

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Terri, you are so right. I've been making shell mirrors, and I have that same "this isn't going to work" impulse about 1/3 of the way through the project. And working on Book #5, there was this: What was I thinking? moment. Say your prayers is good advice.