Don’t let your inner English teacher stop you from following your passions. As Angie Wilson finds, if your heart’s in it you can make it happen…
Angie Wilson has written a book! She talks publishing process and following your dreams no matter what
When I was in high school, I declared to my English teacher that I would write a book. I was brazen and cocky and thought I knew it all. My teacher shot down my declaration, and when I left school and went out into the real world, I put all book-writing ambitions on the backburner.
I didn’t really think about that declaration again until I found my passion in life – the desire to write suddenly came flooding back. I’d fallen in love with fussy-cutting and I couldn’t understand why more people weren’t using this technique to have fun and to spice up their work. I wanted to share it and inspire people to give it a go, and that’s when it became obvious – I needed to write a book about fussy-cutting.
Confident that this was my calling, I pitched my idea to a publishing company, but they replied to say that they already had a book about this topic in their catalogue. I was a little bit crushed, but I decided to keep going – if you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m nothing if not determined! I carried on pitching and was overjoyed when I did find a publisher that got my vision. I signed with Stash Books – then the real hard work started.
Over the course of the next 18 months I did the hardest thing I have ever done – I wrote a craft book. Now, I’m specifying that it’s a craft book because (and here’s where I’ll alienate all my fiction writing friends) not only did I have to write some 30,000 words, but I also had to design and make 14 different projects to demonstrate why I love fussy-cutting so much. And not only did I have to design and make them, but I had to do the math for them all. Oh, the pain! Thank goodness I hit the jackpot with a great Technical Editor, but I still needed to come up with math for them to edit.
I’d be lying if I said the process was smooth sailing. It sucked. Big time. I raged against the process, my sewjo left me, my day job was killing my will to live and my family were being ignored while I squirrelled myself away to write and make. It was, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done in my professional career (and I’ve done a diploma in IT Program Management). But now, with the book making its way into the world, all that pain is forgotten (mostly) and is being replaced with this weird, slow-creeping sense of accomplishment and pride. I did it – I wrote a book.
Long story short, I’m donating a signed copy of that book to my high school library and I’m here to tell you this – if you want to do something, do it! If you’ve got a burning desire to do something, whether that’s in the quilt industry or another aspect of your life, then just get out there and make it happen. It’s so easy to let your inner English teacher (or your real one) hold you back, or to be put off by challenges along the way that seem impossible to overcome. But the world needs you and your special talents to thrive and grow. Who knows, maybe you’ll write a book too!
We may not all have a book in us, but we do all have special talents that need the space to thrive