Thursday, April 25, 2013

In Business, Work Out the "Divorce" First

I had to laugh.

After my last post, I got a lot of feedback, primarily in person and by email.  (I'm not sure quite what's going on with the comments on my blog/Google issues, but although it says "0 comments" there are comments there to be read, and some people are having difficulty posting.)  One such email came from my mom:
Do it!  You are smart, witty, and write better than most and gosh darn it people like you.  I have bought lots and lots of how to books or pattern books that pretty much sucked, but if I got even one idea or inspiration out of a sucky book I did not regret the purchase.  People buy your ideas for lots of things and use them successfully, so much so they come back for more. (me included cause you always have fabulous ideas) Why would a pattern book be any different?  Well it would not be any different!

As long as you put your personality into your book, be yourself and let you shine and I know you will have a success on your hands.  I may be your mother and by definition your biggest fan, but you know I call it as I see it.  Remember my famous line, "I don't like you right now, but I always love you".  Just because I am your mother does not mean I can not be objective, just as the famous line indicates. If for an instant I thought you would not be successful doing a book I would not set you up for a disappointment.  Hey would I want that to reflect back on me?  The answer there is a big old NO.  Seriously, don't worry about anyone but you.  If you want to do it, then do it.  Think of how you would talk to your class, they eat it all up, and then put that into your book.
WOW.  Mom makes some great points and I'm proud to say, makes me feel really loved and supported. (Now y'all know where I get it from.  That apple didn't fall far did it?)

An acquaintance wrote and repeated over the phone when I spoke with her yesterday:
I am very impressed with your writing....and your ability to describe the human condition!
And yet another person reminded me:
How would it be any different than publishing your patterns on Ravelry?  Do you really think a book would be different?  It's done already. 
Again, more encouragement than I could have asked for.

There is "the book" that I've been brewing on for a while which is a straightforward pattern book.  Then there is "the collaboration book" that has explosively begun to develop which is very much not a straightforward pattern book.  It is, in fact, a book featuring patterns designed to be knit whilst inebriated, because really, who hasn't knit with a glass of wine, or two, or three?  (Will Mom still be proud when instead of donating my body to science, I donate my liver to knitting?  She might not like it, but she'll love me.  My doctor on the other hand...)

Here's where I had to laugh.  I'm laughing because in a flash I've learned how foolish my initial fear was and how many serious things there are out there to actually have fear about.  Such as my biggest fear of the moment - the collaboration.

Why am I afraid of the collaboration you ask?  This one is crazy easy to answer.  MONEY.  (Doesn't everything boil down to money?)  Should my co-writer and I part ways prior to or during publication and when we inevitably part ways after our publication, who owns what? Who gets paid what? People are weird when it comes to money.  It is a law of human nature.  Fortunately, she is wonderful and agrees wholeheartedly that we need to plan our "divorce" before our "wedding".  See what I said there? Neither of us are saying "Oh, don't worry.  What could possibly happen?"  Watch out world.  Two smart chicks ahead. Beware.

We are both really excited about our collaboration, and even if this particular project doesn't take off, I fully expect we will work together on something.  There is an amazing magic that happens when you find a creative mind that you can really click with.  We brainstormed last night from the initial concept seed to serious outlining in a very short period of time and it was breathtaking and exciting and scary and overpowering.  Now we just have to figure out if we are as compatible in our ability to "break up" as we are when we work together.  I suspect this is something a lot of artists, designers and creative collaborators fail to do.  Like falling in love, it's really really easy to get sucked into the joy and excitement while ignoring the more serious aspects.  Life, or at the very least business, would be a lot easier if we all planned our divorces first, then fell in love.

I suspect my next major fear will be the lawyer's fee, immediately followed by the hospital bill for the heart attack.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, nothing is getting shelved.  I waitressed  I can juggle crazy amounts of stuff on a plate.  Why would it be any harder to write one book than two?  If you are laughing, you better be posting your experience in my comments or email and trying to save the foolhardy.