In my semi-retirement I’ve taken up a couple of hobbies. The first was quilting. I had decided when my first natural granddaughter was born that I wanted to make something special for her. A quilt would be the perfect handmade gift and though I had never made one before I decided I was a smart lady and could figure this out. That was the clincher. I was hooked! Quilting became my new obsession it was so fun, relaxing and rewarding when the quilt was finished. Reading and viewing videos about quilting became an obsession as I wanted to learn as much as I could. I’ve never looked back. Every quilt I’ve made has been an accomplishment of which I am ever so proud. God forgive me for my pride.
Some time later my daughter began her endeavors to become a published author. That first book took her a long time to write. I encouraged her as much as I could and supported her endeavor. The time came that she decided to self-publish to get her work out there in the big wide world of e-books. She soon discovered that self-publishing as an Indie Author was a lot of work just to self promote. She joined groups of other authors and all the while I sat back just observing.
Then I began to participate, little at a time, I would share her posts about her book because I was proud of her. Having read her book before it was edited by a professional and afterward I knew that her writing was good. It was my hope that she would eventually become a recognized author. As I observed it became clear that her involvement in the Indie Author community was beneficial to all. Indie authors support each other in many ways. After several invitations by my daughter to join in the many Facebook events for Indie authors I finally attended one that she and another author had scheduled. I had so much fun with these witty authors. I’ve attended many more and have joined many of their groups. As I got more involved I promoted various authors on my own Facebook page.
Sometimes authors need people to just read and review their books. So I have begun to do that. At first it was just books that my daughter did not have time or just could not get interested in reading. I read a few books of different genres and most of them were pretty good reading, actually, so far none have been bad reads. I wrote my first review and had no idea just what should be in a review. My daughter read my first review and thought it was pretty good, so it was posted for all to read.
I’ve since volunteered to read several other authors books for review and at least one or two to do beta reading. I had to look that up to make sure I knew what is expected of a beta reader. Low and behold I’ve been beta reading for my daughter all along so I have a good idea what to do.
Now let me tell you, there are a lot of similarities between quilters and authors. Both have an art that brings out their creative charms. Inspiration comes from many sources, but both quilters and authors derive inspiration from nature. Ideas abound in nature. For quilters it is color and form. For authors, well I just can’t fully identify because I don’t write stories, but I’m sure that descriptive settings are taken from nature and story lines are inspired by nature. A real author would have to give me more information on that score. Maybe one day I’ll have an author interview as a treat for my blog.
Authors and quilters alike have unfinished works. For quilters those are UFOs for authors well I don’t know what acronym they use but there has to be one. For a reader who just can’t finish reading a book it is a DNF, did not finish. Both quilters and authors have WIPs, a lot of them. When asked both groups will reply that they have as many as twenty or more works in progress. Ideas? They are everywhere for both authors and quilters. You cannot open your eyes without seeing ideas for a future project whether it be an enchanting story or a gorgeous quilt. Themes work their way through both stories and the patterns of a quilt. The material for an author may be non-material in nature, for a quilter the material is material in the form of fabric and thread and such. Still there is much material out there for both art forms.
Another similarity between quilters and authors is the amount of support they give each other. I love both groups of artists! There is little to no competition between artists. They appreciate the work of others and get inspiration and motivation from other artists. The love of their art that they each share just overflows and you can feel the encouragement and support. Being a relationship person both of these groups are attractive to me. Animosity is not something I appreciate in any relationship and among both authors and quilters there is very little of that. Both are a niche that I can easily feel comfortable in developing long lasting relationships. One as a participant and the other as an advocate.
I know that there are quilters who are authors, maybe not so many of fictional works, but they do write books which get published. Just one look at my bookshelf in my quilting cave would be confirmation enough. I barely have a small percentage of what has been published in the quilting world. I’d be happy to promote a quilter who chose to be an Indie author. It would be like a double scoop of ‘Death by Chocolate’ ice cream. Love that stuff.
So to all my quilting and author friends, keep on being creative and I will keep on loving what you do!