A Fun Role Reversal

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I was 14 when I wrote my first story for a “real” newspaper, a free community paper that appeared on my parents’ front porch weekly. My piece was a high school sports feature and probably a pretty sad read. (I didn’t dig out the ol’ clip file to check because I wanted to skip the part where this trip down memory lane leads to a massive cringe.) But I’m pretty sure what I lacked in skill, I made up for in enthusiasm. Back then, I was pretty pumped to be a budding journalist.

I was naturally curious and often found myself in great conversations with strangers. So not much has changed. I’ve been writing for newspapers for more than half my life now and I still love meeting new people and interviewing them about their lives. I doubt I’ll ever tire of it. And because I love being the interviewer so much, I feel completely out of my element on those rare occasions when I’m asked to be the interviewee.

I had almost forgotten about my July 4 interview with Jacquie Byron, editor of the Australian craft magazine “Get Creatve,” when I opened my mailbox yesterday and found two copies of the October issue. I nervously paged through and found the “Craft Trend Report” article on p. 66. It was surreal to see glossy pictures of my projects in a magazine. What fun! The coolest part was that my little sister, Julie, a talented studio photographer and fellow crafter, took all the pictures that appeared in print. So, this is quite a kick for both of us. (Thank you, Julie!)

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A special thanks to Jacquie Byron for taking an interest in my podcast and deeming it worthy of three-page spread. I really appreciate the support and the lovely article. Thank you!

It’s funny because there was a time not long ago when I had some serious doubts about whether or not I’d ever find my creative groove and muster the courage to do what I love. I’m so glad I didn’t succumb to the crap and continued to believe I could do work that was meaningful and creative.

I’m impatient, so I didn’t sit around waiting for an opportunity to come along. Instead, I went the DIY route and focused on creating my own opportunity. I felt isolated from the creative community, so I started a podcast to start a dialog with kindred spirits around the globe. The result has been amazing. Producing CraftSanity has allowed me to chat with wonderfully creative people who have passion for what they do. It’s been a tremendously inspiring experience that has enriched my life. It also helped me work art and craft writing into my day job. (Check out my newspaper column and blog, “Running with Needles!”)

And here’s the best part: If I can do this, YOU can definitely do it, too. Do that thing you’re always wanted to do. Now is the time. Make a list of the things you MUST do before you die and get to work checking things off. Start with some of the most difficult things because after you check one of those big goals off the list, it will make everything else seem easy as pie. (I’m hoping to check “Run a Marathon” off my list on Oct. 28, when I make my first attempt to conquer that 26.2 mile beast.) You can do it. Just tell yourself this: “I’m good enough. I’m strong enough. And, dammit, I can CRAFT!”

Okay, I’m done tooting my own horn. It’s just not cool, I know. But I’m excited to have some validation and wanted to share. Thanks to all you kindred spirits out there for inspiring me to continue to do my crafty thing. I wouldn’t be doing this without all your kind feedback and support. Thank you!

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