Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting To Be Good Enough

I have to admit that putting up my last post was a little terrifying. My secret fear was that I would be seen as an idiot. I might have been, but no one said it in my comments, so I'll count that as a win. This last year of working on knitting patterns has been tough, but I feel that I need to share what I've been learning, even if some of it is obvious. (Also, everything I'm knitting has to remain secret at the moment.) Anyways, this post began as I was looking at a list of contributors to Taproot magazine. And everyone seemed to have had their work published all over. I started to wonder why that couldn't be me. Am I not good enough to be featured somewhere?
This image was submitted for the Wovember competition. It didn't win. I was sad. I'm over it now and I think it's pretty awesome.

Then it hit me. How can I be featured anywhere if I don't ever submit my work. So that is my new resolution. I'm not going to wait to be what I perceive as "good enough." I may never be featured anywhere, but I'm going to start submitting my work. Why not? The worse thing that can happen is that it isn't put up anywhere. I'm planning to submit at least one pattern to Twist Collective and one pattern to Knitty. And while we're at it, I'd like to have something of mine show up at craftgawker.
This is a trebuchet that a bunch of us helped assemble. It didn't work, but it was still fun to put together. There's a life lesson in there.

Is there anyone else out there who wishes they were featured anywhere? (blog, online magazine, print) Where would you like to be featured? And perhaps, most importantly, have you tried submitting anything, or are you waiting to be "good enough?" (For the record, I have started to submit things and have been soundly rejected, but each additional rejection has been taken much less personally. I think it's good practice.)

15 comments :

Pumpkin said...

It is great practice! That is so great that you are finally getting yourself out there and submitting stuff. Before you know it we will be excited to knit your new Knitty design. Keep up the great work and be sure to ask people what might help improve your work or your process for submitting.

Diana Burrell said...

I'm a magazine writer/non-fiction book author IRL (and a knitter to escape the grind, LOL). I've been writing full-time since 1999, fwiw. The only difference between someone who has been published and one who wants to be published is the first guy/gal pitched their ideas despite their fears. (Nearly every writer I know is a quivering mass of insecurities.) My work gets rejected all the time; rather than take it personally, I see it as a business decision and move on. So go for it -- set a goal (submit a pattern every month/every two months) and keep at it. At some point, something good will happen. Good luck!

Diana Burrell said...

p.s. And certainly don't wait until you're "good enough." That day of feeling "good enough" or "right" never comes for many of us, even the most talented. OK, I'll shut up now. ;)

fern1knits said...

Yes, I have also been thinking that I need to regularly submit patterns to Twist and Knitty (etc.). I submitted something to Knitty last year and the rejection wasn't nearly as painful as I was expecting... and then I was able to self-publish the design and that was okay.

My challenge with submitting patterns is trying to have my design schedule coincide with calls for submissions. More often than not, I will be stressed out working on one particular design (yes, for self-publication) when I see a call that sings to me, and won't submit because I don't feel I have the time, or feel that I need to focus on the design I'm already working on.

On Ravelry, there is an Almost Knitty group of designers who submitted to Knitty and were rejected. I find that group very supportive and reassuring (when I see all of the designs that don't make it in, I don't feel badly that mine didn't make it either).

Psyche Knits said...

I don't think you have anything to worry about when it comes to publishing your work. Your designs are really cute and although it is scary to publish (and yes, you take the chance of getting rejected), you will grow as a designer by taking that risk. And if you don't make it into the publications you apply for, you always have the option of self publishing. I aspire to be published too in a magazine or collection but I wait because I don't have the time right now to devote to exclusively pattern writing. I mean, look at Hansi Singh, she published a book with amazing knitted toys after only two years of knowing how to knit. I'm sure you've been knitting for more than two years so now is the time!

Danette said...

Great attitude and plan. You keep at it. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! And you never know until you try. I just read your last post. We all feel these things at times whether we talk about it or not. Going out on a limb is always scary. Good for you for doing it.
Danette

Andi G said...

I read your previous admission and I do not think you sound like an idiot. You just sound like all of us at one time or another.
I know many great designers who have submitted their work to Knitty or other publications and they were rejected. So they self-published. I think it is a wonderful attitude that you are going to put yourself out there!

Nancy said...

You know, you're so right. Lately I've been feeling much of the same way, and call me slow, but I've just come to the realization too that these people actually submit there work, aren't randomly chosen. I need to do more of this too!

Maryse said...

You should definitely submit! Success may just be waiting for that! Good luck!

Andi said...

The secret to getting a submission accepted is more about having an understanding of what the magazine/site is looking for than about a skill or luck. The first design I submitted to Knitty was rejected and I was really surprised at the time, but in retrospect the design was a bad fit for the issue I submitted to.

I just wish that I had a reliable enough schedule to submit to more publications. I can live with the rejections, but I never know if I'll have an essay or something that clashes with deadlines so I end up self publishing everything.

peglegparadiddle said...

I loved your last post! I needed to hear it because I happened to be going though it.
I've submitted things to Burda Style and Apartment Therapy and had them rejected. It's ok though, because the compliments I get when I wear that project out, or when someone sees my project let me know that I didn't do a bad job, it just wasn't the right time/project.

And I DID get a tutorial featured on Threadbanger! Which was pretty awesome! I'd really like to be on Craftzine or, you know, The Martha Stewart show. :p

My two goals in life: Own a llama and be featured on Martha!

Susan said...

Go for it! Thats an awesome attitude! I love the work ith wool you submitted!

kiwiyarns said...

You should never think you aren't 'good enough'. I look at the early work of some designers and I think, "Boy, they were lucky". You're way better than that. It's like some of the others say though - you can't take rejection personally. I LOVED your picture of the wool pouring out of the carton! That's an exact example of why you shouldn't take it badly - that was a fantastic image.

You should also think about submitting to hard copy magazines perhaps?

Meg said...

I can definitely relate to your thoughts on feeling not quite "good enough." I've always been so shy with my blog and afraid of failing, that it took me forever to even link it to my own family and friends. It took me an embarrassingly long while to realize that wasn't getting me anywhere...

I think that "just go for it" attitude will get you far. You do amazing work already, and you only stand to gain something by submitting.

By the way, that Wovember photo submission is way awesome.

AC said...

I really love the 'self-publishing' option that Ravelry offers, so I've never submitted anything either. But, I think that also has to do with how I shop for knitting patterns (I rarely buy mags or books, love buying single pdfs) so it doesn't appeal to me as much.

Being featured in a mag could help your pattern sales in general though, so I say do it!

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