Saturday, September 30, 2006

Newsletters


This is a long rambling post about newsletters and deadlines and such. Several years ago I published my first book which a lot of people really liked. Here's a picure of the cover. The cost and aggravation of publishing it put me off doing another book. I had a lot of designs percolating around in my head, like the 3D snowflake Georgia has in her class pages that she called the Superbowl Sunday Snowflake. I think 10 is the minimum number of designs I would put in a book and I had a dozen or so already tatted and drawn.

I didn't want to go through all that bother again and I started to think that maybe a newsletter would be a good idea. I had enough unpublished works that I could fill up at least 2 or 3 newsletters and in the intervening months I figured I could do a few more to finish out the first year. My sweetheart hubby created a web page to show the pictures of the tatting in colour although the published pages were black and white.

Things went reasonably well for the first couple of years. Bookkeeping for income tax purposes was a bit of a headache with the newsletter running from November and the tax year running from January. After the first year I started having people subscribe mid-year and that was OK for a while. Then I had some people renew early, and a few who skipped a couple of issues then renewed and things got really wild. I think I've managed to get things back on track now. Maybe.

Anyway The accident last year really threw things off. My stack of already created designs has been depleted. My energy and creativity have been at low ebb for way too long. I just don't have the energy to start over again when a drawing isn't right. I get a perfect drawing, start to add in the stitch count and have to scrap the drawing and start again because there isn't enough room for numbers. The turtle in the last issue had to be done about 6 times just to get the head and neck right. I found myself going cross eyed night after night just trying to get it to work out.

This last quarter I did the wedding album, lace for 4 placemats (which I didn't use) and I need to do something special for my brother's 50th wedding anniversary. I'm one month into this quarter and I haven't started the lace for next quarter and what I really want to do is pull together the lace for a book. I'd like to use the 25 Motif Challenge to create snowflakes and morph them into hearts and then morph them again into butterflies, all while showing the designing process. It's the kind of thing that I don't think will go well into a newsletter, but maybe it would.

Creating the newsletter used to be fun, but lately it's become a chore and I panic each quarter that I won't be able to create as much lace as I need as fast as I need. While my sweetheart is very supportive he's inclined to tell me to quit if it stresses me. Doing things electronically took a huge burden off. He's such a stickler for precision that he insisted on doing labels for every envelope and made sure that the labels were straight and the stamps positioned precisely. Anything less than perfection, just wouldn't do.

So now I'm thinking can I still do the newsletter? Can I handle the pressure? Should I change the format to allow doing a series on designing? Would the subscribers go for that? What if something else slows me down like the accident did? What do you think? Anybody want to comment?

3 comments:

erin said...

Hi, Sharon!

While I love the newsletter, maybe you need a little "creative pause" - you know - catch up on things and let yourself heal a while. You can always pick back up with volume 5 at a later date. I sure would miss the newsletter, though. I would miss you more, however, if you were to run amok and have to be committed to the loony bin.

Did that make sense? I sure hope so!

Love that turtle!

Jane Eborall said...

Sharon, Sharon, Sharon, you've put all my fears in such heartfelt words. Your feelings are the reasons that I've never committed to anything like a book or a regular online committment. DO take time for yourself. Don't add more stress to your life. It's just not worth it. Love your work to bits but it's not worth burning yourself out.
JaneEb

BJ said...

Ah Sharon! Although I've 'grown accustomed to your lace" newsletters; remember that old adage.
"If you don't go apart, you'll come apart."
Take time to refresh, renew, get the duckies in a row -
Take Time for: DH, devotions, and rest in Him.
hugs and love,

Beverly in NM