Last year a wonderful group of supporters came together to help fund my next book project, Hook to Heal. That project has shifted shape over the past year and the book is almost done but not quite yet. I wanted to share with you the following email I sent as an update to all of my special funders because it shares where I’m at, what my thoughts are on creativity and how being creative is all about process, not product.
Dear my wonderful supporters of the Hook to Heal book project … this is an update about the book and about my own experience of writing it and of working with this material. It’s an insight into what’s been happening creatively with me over the course of the past year. And it’s information about what’s next to come. I hope it reaches you in a good place …
About a year ago you agreed to fund Hook To Heal, my book and creativity project about how to use crochet to heal yourself from a variety of life situations – to improve relationships, to build self-esteem, to expand your own artistic self. I wanted to write these things because I have experienced the power of crochet and craft in this way and I wanted to offer this to others.
Throughout the course of the past year I have been at work on this book. The bulk of the material has been written. The number of pages are there. A lot of exercises are in place. And yet, the book isn’t quite done. I originally said that it would be published in September and then I said at the start of this year. And technically, I could publish it and it would be fine, I suppose, but there’s something unfinished about it and I’m not ready to release it to the world …
As most of you know, I started a graduate school program in the fall. It’s a degree in Integral Counseling Psychology which is all about approaching psychology and counseling from a holistic perspective that incorporates myriad techniques and worldviews, both east and west (and some north and south). I came to this program out of a deep need for something in my life. It is a program that is designed, I believe, to shake you to your core, to loosen up what is there and then sort of solidify it in a new way so that you can offer it more completely to the world. It is a program that allows you to get so deep inside of yourself that you connect with the umbilical cord of the universe.
This program is changing me. It is changing me in fundamental ways that I simply can not articulate at this time. And because of these changes, Hook to Heal doesn’t feel finished. Because through this work I’ve realized that although I write and create daily, there is a part of my writing that has become more business than creativity. I’ve lost touch somehow with that deep thing that drives the creative process. I’m reading a book right now by Oriah Mountain Dreamer where she talks about how creativity cannot be separated from sexuality (what she describes really resonates more with me as sensuality) or with spirituality. She talks about how spirituality separated from sexuality loses its passion, how spirituality separated from creativity becomes empty, how sexuality separated from spirituality loses the intimacy, how sexuality separated from creativity becomes mechanized, and how creativity separated from the other two “is diminished in its capacity to be a path for the unfolding of the soul”. She posits that creativity without spirituality becomes advertising (or what relates to me as the business-ifying of my writing) and that creativity without sexuality loses its aliveness. This is all another way of talking, I think, about the mind-body-spirit connection.
The pages of Hook to Heal are written and yet I feel that they are passionless. The right ideas are there and I can stand behind them but somehow they are lifeless. They are cut off from the heart of me. And I just don’t feel right putting this book out into the world until the heart of it starts beating. It wouldn’t feel right with any book, I suppose, but it especially does not feel right for a book that is all about tapping into the creative through crochet. It needs something else, something more, something that requires me to tap into the depths of world and then allow the beating of that pulse to come through me into the work. And I’m close. I can feel it. I can sense that I’m on the bleeding edges of something pulsating there. But I’m not there yet. And I can’t force myself to be there.
That said, I realize that it’s been a year since you gifted me the finances to make this book happen. And I worry that for some of you that’s way too long to not see a product. So I am offering this … I promise that there really is a book and that it’s on the way. But I can’t say when it will be ready. When it’s published, you will be getting your copy if you remain a funder. But if this is too risky and too much of a delay for you and you want to rescind your funding, I do understand. If anyone wants their money back at this stage, please contact me directly via email and we will work something out. I want everyone to be content with their part in this process.
I wish you wellness. I wish you passion. I wish you moments of depth. I wish you laughter. And I wish you lots of creative, healing crochet.