Tuesday, October 27, 2009
No news isn't good news
You're in for a very disjointed post as I began this post a week or two ago and didn't get around to finishing it.
I'm thinking about doing a post on my blog about the importance of embracing 'Trial and Error' learning and how a crochet designer has to be very independent in seeking answers and how 'no news' isn't necessarily good news when it comes to pattern writing. And though it would be great to have a correspondence course that would teach you how to be a successful crochet designer and write and grade patterns and self-publish and deal with editors, it just isn't likely to happen because we all learn with every new project and that I'm sure some of the legends in the field also feel like they are still learning...
Wouldn't it be great just to hire someone to tech edit/grade/write patterns for you? Just sketch and swatch it up, pay a fee, and viola'! No! The art is in the execution and process of bringing the idea to life.
As a new designer, you could hire someone to look over your patterns for you, but that would get expensive in a hurry for a design that you aren't sure will sell or not. Make sure you do write down every new pattern as if you are making it for publication. Get friends or guild members to look it over or even make the item. Check your math. Count up the stitches in each row/round.
If you get to the point that your design is purchased, do your best to write the pattern in the style of the buyer. Usually, I will have the most recent magazine or published patterns in my lap when I'm writing a pattern and compare. Do they use a semi-colon? Where do they bold and where do they not? What abbreviations are used and what is spelled out? etc.
If you don't hear anything more, it isn't necessarily good news that your pattern was well written. The editors don't automatically contact you if there are errors. Usually they just fix them and don't tell you. (Which is actually pretty awesome, but then you don't learn how to write it better the next time). So, if you actually get to publication... compare how you wrote the pattern with how they put the pattern in the publication! See what they changed. How did they shorten it? How was it simplified?
Some buyers will contact you if there are questions or errors, which is also very nice and helpful, but at that point it is usually several months after you wrote and made the item, so it can be hard to recall.... so keep excellent notes about what you did, even if it's for your own clarification later.
The photo is Chief playing soccer. He really got better by the end of the season. This was his first year. I'm not sure if he wants to play next year although I hope he does because it's so important to be active and he doesn't show much interest in anything else besides the computer and reading. He's the closest one to the camera in the gray/red.