One of the many reasons the Twin-Cities seems to have become a permanent home (still hard to admit after 10 years, as I love so many other cities too) is the wonderful creativity that abounds here. Between the music scene, the extensive literary crowd, and the many theatres/shows, as well as the sometimes odd, but regularly scheduled & ecclectic activities (no idea where to start here); I realized that the reason for such a long “visit” in MN is this–my constant love affair with this wonderful region. Honestly there is so much to do, that I am never bored. Plus, the folks who live and work here make this city great. 🙂 Yes, the Twin-Cities will probably still see my big hair even at retirement age.
This weekend, the No. Coast Craft-O-Rama kicked off the holidays in its usual 5-star tradition. Between the many booths showing off everyones’ creative talent, including clothes, handmade books & stationary, jewelry, art (all types), children’s toys, clothes accessories, crafty supplies, organic beauty products, and more. . . I was also able to spend time with my dear friend, Lizzy, who is one of the founders of Stitches4Bitches; where Lizzy makes and sells artsy, but fully usable dog beds and clothes, as well as handmade winter knit caps for any pooches who go outdoors (in cold weather).
Across the aisle from Lizzy was one of the former contestants of Project Runway, Chris Straub, who seemed to be quite the friendly, outgoing quasi-celebrity at this year’s event. Finally, I still had some holiday shopping to do,ultimately finding a wonderful set of handmade stone coasters that my own father would even like, as he is unusually hard to shop for.
Once there was an opportunity to sit down and think about today’s crafty outing, a few things came to mind in regard to writing & publishing:
1. If you are going to write a book, go all out. This means one puts his/her heart into the ENTIRE author experience; including the writing, the marketing, the promotion, and the general act of getting readers on board with one’s book/writing. Any of the folks who were at the Craft-O-Rama brought this mentality to their art, as the only way to succeed in such a DIY event is to embrace the entire experience 110%.
2. Get to know your peers. One thing that stood out was the networking happening between all the crafters. The sharing of ideas, of possible future shared projects, and cheering one another on throughout the weekend; just a few of the observations from today. In regard to writing and publishing, it is to the writers’ benefit to know other writers and individuals in the publishing industry. Ideas can be expanded upon through discussion, fellow writers can critique one’s writing (therefore increasing one’s chances of getting published), and more.
3. Find your niche. Just don’t write ANY book. Write the book that will be YOU, reflecting your unique personality and perspective. Write a book that will appeal to a larger public, but also fill a possible “hole” on bookshelves. Writing the same book as everyone else isn’t going to advance one’s career any faster. Yet, taking a risk on a new idea, ultimately working on becoming the “expert” in regard to that new book idea, is to any writer’s advantage. Look at the Worst-Case Scenario book series, how did it become an instant hit? Nothing else like that series was published at the time, and the general reading public loved it.
Now go be your crafty self! 🙂