Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Re-post Anxiety & Depression

Originally posted in December 2018 on my website blog, which has since become a news page. 
I feel this is an important post to re-post before I delete it from my website as it charts a couple of years of my journey.

This is a cathartic outpouring that a need to write so I can move on, so you can stop reading now if you don't want to read doom and gloom.
I'm very anxious, but excited at the same time, I invest a lot of time and emotion in my books and have come to realise writing books makes me anxious and depressed.

July 2015
I cried for the last 6 months of writing Rainbow Crocheted Blankets, at the time I thought it was due to having to shut NDS and found it very difficult working with an editor who made changes to my manuscript I didn't like, I felt out of control as I was powerless to do anything about the bits I didn't like as the editor had the last say. Don't get me wrong she was a lovely girl and doing the best she could with a difficult author and produced a beautiful book, but it wasn't exactly the book I would of published.

December 2015
The day the final manuscript went to print was the day the world became a better place and I stopped crying. After the experience I vowed never to write another book.

I self published a couple of booklets of blanket patterns and in October Rainbow Crocheted Blankets was published, it was a huge success, by this time I'd forgotten how depressed I'd been and started thinking about a new book.

January 2017
I was approached by an agent and started making blankets, the new book was going to be called Watercolour Crochet Blankets and focus on the colour blending technique I used in my blankets.

May 2017
A couple of publishers weren't interested, but a third publisher was really enthusiastic and I went to a meeting. The meeting was fantastic, the publisher was excited and keen to work with me, she wasn't keen on the watercolour idea, said I should make blankets I want to make rather than try and stick to a theme, so the new version of the book became Circles Crochet Blankets. I came away feeling rejuvenated and full of new ideas. The only down side was the final decision would be made by the US office and they wouldn't have a commissioning meeting until September.

September 2017
Bert was born and my life took on new meaning.

December 2017
September came and went, October came and went, November came and went, all without a decision. The US office had the meeting in December and loved the book, the UK office started planning photo shoots and layouts, but still no decision.
During this time my beloved Billy cat died, I was heartbroken and retreated into myself a little.

January 2018
After long negotiations with my agent the publisher decided not to go ahead with the book because even though I'd sold over 30,000 copies of Rainbow Crocheted Blankets the numbers didn't add up and they weren't prepared to pay me the price I asked for.

February and March 2018
My agent approached several more publishers including my existing publisher, they were all keen and made offers, BUT none of them would improve on the deal I already had.
This left me feeling worthless and empty that no one considered that my book was worth investing in. But I was not prepared to work for a pittance to pay for some else's skying holiday while we struggle to make ends meet, so I turned all the offers down.

April 2018
I decided to self publish on Amazon, I did a test run with Madder Triangles, which I renamed Crochet Madder Triangles so the search engines would pick it up. I wish I could say it was a huge success, but it hasn't been, so even though it didn't fill me with joy I was really happy with the book its and proud that I produced it on my own. So I started work on the manuscript for Circles Crochet Blankets.

May 2018
My beloved Loki dog died and we were/are still devastated, I still can't look at a German Shepard without crying, his death has broken us all. I didn't realise it was possible to grieve so much for a dog, but like Billy he had been with us through all our trauma's of the past. Probably the worst part was watching Tinks grieve, she didn't understand and had lost her life long companion, she stopped eating, playing, didn't run anymore just lay on the sofa and sighed.
We were told our house was going to be sold and couldn't afford to buy it so needed to find a new home, this broke me even further, but I kept writing the book, often through tears and anxiety that we wouldn't be able to find somewhere new.

June 2018
We found and moved into our new flat and even though I miss my big garden its perfect for the 2 of us and has a south facing courtyard, my mood lifted a bit and I enjoyed the summer.

July 2018
I watched Bert trying to pick the circles up off one of the blankets and realised that I should be making a book for him. So Circles Crochet Blankets was split in 2, I only had 8 blankets which wasn't enough for two books, so I chose eight of my existing patterns (four for each book) which fitted with the themes of the two new books, which are Bert's Crochet Baby Blankets and Moorland Crochet Blankets which will be published next year.

August 2018
We brought home Oberon (Ron) our new lurcher puppy, Tinks hated him, 3 months later she's still not that keen, but when she's not snapping at him they play and run together and best of all she isn't grieving anymore. Ron has brought new energy into our life, he'll never be loki or Billy, but he helps fill the gaps they left and given us someone new to love.

November 2018
The Beast my beloved land rover died. I know most people won't understand why I feel sad about a car, but I've always loved driving and my cars are an extension of myself, plus the Beast was one of the few things I had left of NDS.

By this time I'd almost stopped social networking, I haven't talked to several close friends for nearly a year, I've buried myself deeper and deeper in my pit of self doubt and depression.
I have nothing new or interesting to say, why would anyone want to buy the book? I'd decided to publish Bert's book and the Moorland book and then give up writing patterns completely, maybe edit a few of the old ones, but quietly fade into obscurity, no one would notice.

December 3rd 2018
Today is the day I upload the manuscript and press submit on Bert's Crocheted Baby Blankets, I can already feel the world is a brighter place, even though I'm on my second attempt at uploading the file, the first pdf writer I used corrupted the file ....grrrr
Maybe its helped writing this blog post, maybe I've cried all the tears I have left, maybe its because 2 years of disappointment and heart break are over.
I feel the fight is still within me,
I have at least another 2 books in me after Moorland Crochet Blankets, I need to rewrite and re-publish Desirable Crochet Motifs and Bert is going to be a big brother in March so I will need to do another baby book for my second grandchild.
Moorland Crochet Blankets isn't going to be anywhere near as  big an emotional roller coaster that Bert's book has been.
In the past year I've watched Bert grow from a tiny baby into a naughty but charming toddler,
I've always been surrounded by my loving family,
I have naughty Ron to love and cuddle (even though he's all legs and going to be a lot bigger than we thought.
I have a tiny flat I love and am really happy in.
And we've got another ridiculous car that drinks petrol, this one doesn't have a name, but goes very fast and is totally unsuitable for life on the moor

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Back again & 2018 update.

Dear Followers

I have decided to start writing this blog again and turn my website blog into a news blog for grown up business posts. But don't worry there will still be a lot of crochet here :-)

So much has happened since my last blog post back in November 2017, this is a long recap post, I was going to add my crochet updates at the bottom, but have decided to do a second blog post.

When I last wrote I had a 2 month old baby grandson, now I have a 17 month old toddler grandson and am expecting a new grandbaby in the next few weeks, I can't wait to meet Bert's baby brother or sister, the arrival of new life is so exciting especially when its your own flesh and blood.
This is Bert, his mummy & baby sibling bump on our visit to the tallest tree in England yesterday

In the foreground there is a strange looking dog, who is our new puppy Ron.

We lost 2 of our beloved pets within 6 months of each other, firstly Billy the Maine Coon cat died just before Christmas 2017 and then Loki our beautiful GSD died in May last year, I still can't think about them without tears welling up in my eyes.
So at the end of August last year we brought home a tiny 8 week old lurcher puppy, he has the same Dad as Tinkerbell our existing lurcher, but his mum was a greyhound x. We were expecting him to end up as a bigger version of Tinks, instead of which it looks like he is going to grow up to be pseudo greyhound, he's a lot bigger than he should be and has a smooth coat rather than the rough coat we expected, plus he moults!! But we love him regardless.
Bert really loves Ron, Ron really loves Bert, together they are a nightmare bundle of chaos with 6 legs, 2 hands and a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.
Ron has grown so much in 5 months, he's still got a lot of growing to do, hes going to be massive, he's also impossible to photograph as he's a camouflage sort of brindle colour


In June last year we moved house again!
I was heartbroken to leave our big roomy house and large garden, but didn't take long to fall in love our new small ground floor flat and south facing courtyard.
The courtyard is long and thin, I decided I wanted to turn it into a Mediterranean courtyard, so as it was my birthday soon after we moved and I was given a olive tree, a grape vine and fig tree, they were so beautiful......
But Ron has since eaten the grape vine and fig, they are both stumps I have my fingers crossed they will both grow back in the spring and Ron will have outgrown his destructive phase.

In October my beloved Beast died, I know most of you will read this and think why the fuss, its only car, but to me a car is so much more than a big metal box. I genuinely love my cars, they are kind of big metal pets. 

I love driving and the sense of adventure when I get behind the wheel, we could go anywhere and do anything, the Beast was an extension of me, big, lumbering, middle aged and slightly broken.
So we had a new (old) car, which was a slinky and speedy BMW, but it didn't feel like our car and as it drank petrol every time you accelerated we couldn't afford to keep it. So last week we traded it in for a Mercedes, which is the poshest car we've ever owned, but quite old so not as expensive as it sounds. We took it on a road trip to Cornwall at the weekend and fell in love, its big, middle aged, not lumbering, only very slightly broken, with surprisingly good fuel economy and very very posh, so we've named it the Posh Beast.

Emotionally I have been up and down like a yo yo, so much grieving and sadness, but so much new joy, I'd really like 2019 to be calm and stable.
I had written a cathartic post about being my traumas and being depressed on my website blog, but I've deleted it and re-posted it HERE