Sunday, April 15, 2018

How I Wrote My First Book by Leanne Dyck

The following article was published in the West Coast Knitter's News in November 2006. The newsletter was edited by Paulette Lane.

How I Wrote a Knitting Book

Like all journeys, this one began with a single step. I was at a house party and innocently told a friend, "I'd like to start a writing group."

"Well," advised the friend, "you should talk to (name withheld to protect the innocent)." And a few short weeks later Mayne Island writers group was formed.

I immediately began to benefit from the group. The first lesson I learnt was in order for skills to be sharpened you have to practice them. So I made a commitment to write daily.

I had tried this strategy before and had failed miserably. Not wanting this same fate I decided to go public by way of a blog.

Daily writing is difficult. You begin to run out of ideas. When this happens you have to dig deep. You have to carve off the fat to reach the bone. What really matters to you begins to be exposed. You begin to write from your heart.

I began to write about my passion:  knitting. Each time I did this my readership grew. People were actually logging on to read my writing. Go figure? It amazed me. 

The idea started to percolate in my brain that I could write a book.

Still, the sheer volume of writing scared me. Even a short book is 100 pages. How could I write 100 pages?

Day after day I wrote. I kept the good bits and forgot about the bad.

I shared my best stuff not only with my blogging readership but with the talented writers of the writers' group. They gave me the feedback I needed in order to grow.

I soon began to realize that my goal of publishing a book was attainable.

Upon reviewing my writing I realized how very dear to me this story was. Visualizing a publisher molding and forming it made me churn.* No, the only answer for me at this time was self-publishing. I wanted to tell my story in my words in my way. 

I have always thoroughly enjoyed clicking my knitting needles to the sound of audiobooks. I knew there were many other knitters who felt the same. I was surprised to realize that, (to my knowledge) there wasn't an audiobook written by a knitter for the knitting community. An audiobook that celebrated knitting called out to be written. Was it possible?

Fortunately for me, the man I married had considerable computer skills. It is due to his patience, dedication, and talent that Novelty Yarn has such high-quality sound. 

The family I married into is jam-packed-full of talented musicians--such as my brother-in-law Tim Dyck. He composed and performed the beautiful instrumentals which knit the readings together. 

Self-publishing is a misnomer. Many hands were involved in the creation of Novelty Yarn. From the members of the Mayne Island writer's group who carefully edited it to the island printer who designed the CD cover.

Recently, a friend, clutching the CD in her hands, said, "You should be very proud."

Know what? I am.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Don't be afraid to take that step.

*Later in my writing career, I learned that publishers, editors don't alter a writer's work to serve their own needs. Rather they make suggestions to improve the story.

Next post:  
The Lure of Yarn (short story)is from Novelty Yarn--my first book.
It's a tongue in cheek look at being addicted to knitting. 
Published on April 22nd at approximately 5 PM PT

'Abby beachcombing' ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

Thought this week...
You don't have to like your lead (main) character (protagonist), but you should at least find her interesting. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time together. And, if things go well, you'll be writing the book together.