Thursday, October 13, 2011

The good, the bad, and the ugly truth

I'm discovering that writing your first book is full of one learning experience after another. And by discovering, I mean the hard way! Just when I think I have it together...well, you can imagine. Here are some of the lessons I've learned:

  • You make an outline at the start that has a visual description of each project that you have in your head. And when you actually start beading that design, it laughs at you and shows you what the real design is. Takeaway: Be flexible
  • When you sign that contract, the deadline for turning in your completed projects, instructions, and illustrations seems like a million months away. And then the calendar laughs at you and time speeds up and all of a sudden you're behind and panicked. Takeaway: Pretend like it's a race to get it finished as fast as possible and then you might make that deadline without having to take anti-anxiety medication.
  • The good news is that you've spent the last 10 years of your life collecting all the coolest seed beads, focal beads, clasps, and crystals, and it finally pays off as you're making the collection of your life for the book. But then the beads laugh at you as you discover EVERY SINGLE TIME that while you have the perfect beads, you don't have enough of them to finish the project in question. And remember that deadline? Yeah. Me too. Takeaway: Overnight shipping is your friend.
  • Above all else, trust in your vision. Because through the twists and turns, it will come together in the end - and you will look over the mountain of designs you created as you were feeling slightly out-of-control and off-kilter, careening down a steep mountain with no brakes, and like a miracle, the laughter stops and you realize it is beautiful and you couldn't imagine making a single project any other way. Takeaway: Dang. This is so much fun!


  1. Jill, this is your editor speaking. Why are you spending time blogging instead of beading your fingers to the bone to make projects for your book, then typing up the instructions late into the night?

    Hee, hee! You've really nailed what it's like to create a book! Hang in there, my friend, your work looks terrific.

    --Nathalie Mornu

  2. Great advice!
    Note to self-don't let editor know about blog. :)

  3. Wonderfully funny and insightful post, Jill! I linked to this in my ezine today. Thanks for sharing your takeaways with us :)

  4. haha - your editor kicked your butt! I'm glad she doesn't do that to me! Nathalie - if you are reading this - I think you are awesome!!! :)

    - Mabeline G.