Friday, March 14, 2014

Writing A Craft Book: The Fascinating Rewards That Come From Sharing What You Know

In my last post I wrote about why I think it's so important to share your ideas
explained how for me, it's all about teaching other people and inspiring others to create. 
 When you pass on what you know, whether it's a skill or trade, 
or just something  you know a lot about, not only are you helping 
others by teaching them, but you are giving them the ability to learn and do something new. 
After all, good ideas are meant to be shared, and I think people should inspire other people.

Book process photo: Choosing coordinating components for a project

But I also discovered - unexpectedly - a fascinating reward throughout the whole process of 
writing my craft book. What was this reward? I found that as you give away what you know, 
out of nowhere, completely new ideas come to you, and you discover brand new things. 
The reward was, in giving, you open yourself up, and you open up your mind, to new and 
different ideas. It's almost like a blossoming. 

Book process photo: Choosing plate patterns for projects

As I created the projects for my book, BoHo Chic Jewelry, not only was I designing and 
making the projects with my hands, I was also writing out all of the step-by-step 
instructions, and at the same time writing down little notes here and there about what my
 inspirations were for each project, snapping photos of each step so that the photographer 
would have a reference point for what photos were important to take during the actual 
photo shoot, etc. That was the work. So I began with project number one and worked my 
way through; thinking, making, writing, and taking photos. Sometimes re-thinking, 
re-making, and re-writing, and re-taking photos! But I was working my way through.

Book process photo: Choosing flatware patterns for projects

And then, while I worked, a wonderful thing started to happen. New ideas came. 
First as a trickle. Then as a flood. 

And let me clarify: these new ideas had nothing to do with the wonderful projects I had 
already designed and created for BoHo Chic Jewelry. These were new, unassociated,
completely different ideas. And they wouldn't stop coming. So every so often when I would 
take a break from working, I would jot the new ideas down, and set them aside. 
As I gave away, I received. 

I'm not sure how or why this happened. Where did these new ideas come from? And why

did they keep popping into my head when I was working on something else? I honestly 
can't answer that. The closest thing I have to any kind of explanation is that maybe that is 
just the nature of giving. Maybe it is universal flow. I can't explain it, but I can say, with
all honesty, that this is what I was meant to do. 

May 14, 2015.... forward one year later and those new ideas have been collected and organized, 
polished off and perfected, written down and submitted to my publisher, put into a 
new book and offered to you, the reader, the jewelry maker, the artist. My second book, 
Soldered Alchemy: 24 Jewelry Projects Using New Soft-Solder Techniques
is fresh in from the printer and on its way to a bookstore near you! And that was 
the gift that I received from giving my ideas away to write my first book, BoHo Chic Jewelry. 
What a fascinating reward for giving away what I knew and sharing what I learned. The
moral of this blog post? If you discover or create something new and interesting, a new
 technique or method, a new style or idea - share it. Don't keep it in. Once you give it 
away, so much more will come to you. 

What do you think?

I hope you have a great week 
Love, Laura

My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at