This morning I stopped by Seventh Sanctum, one of my favorite online sites for writing inspiration, and saw that Sanctum Master Steven Savage has published Fan to Pro, a guide about using your fandom to take a new career direction or enhance your current job situation.
Over the years I've had so much fun playing with the generators at Seventh Sanctum that I believe I would happily buy Steven Savage's grocery list if he chose to publish it (what does that guy eat for breakfast, anyway?) However, as it happens the subject of his book is very timely for me.
At the quilt show this year every other pal I saw asked me when I'm going to publish a quilting book. As is, "You do this for a living, don't you? Write something for us!"
Actually I have already written a number of short e-books on different techniques and projects for my guild, and I'm still working on a photo e-book of my wedding ring quilt collection, but I've never pursued writing quilt books for profit. I think part of it is due to how I feel about my quilting. Like my poetry, it's a mostly private passion. In the past I've done commission work, taught some classes and entered a few competitions (and won a couple small ones) but I never tried to make the leap to turning pro. As a quilter I've never considered myself anything special, just an average hobbyist/home sewer -- much more of a fan than a pro.
At the same time I read a lot of quilt magazines and books; I use their patterns and methods and I discuss them with friends. After almost twenty years of that I have a lot of practical knowledge about what works and what doesn't for a quilter. I've designed my own patchwork patterns and invented some methods to handle common problems, especially in the restoration of antique quilts. Combine that with my experience as a writer, and how closely I relate quilting to writing, and obviously there is some potential there.
Lots to think about, anyway, and I'll report back on Fan to Pro after I read it. In the meantime, what non-writing hobby or passion do you enjoy that you think helps you with writing?