Some of My Thoughts on The Writer’s Life

writing Some of My Thoughts on The Writers Life

I was interviewed a few months ago by awesome businesswoman Sylvia Browder. She asked me lots of great questions about my book, Crochet Saved My Life, as well as my take on the writing life. Let me share two of my interview questions/ answers here with you today to give you a sense of how I see my writing life:

Syvlia asked, “Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?”

I answered, “I prefer writing in my own home. I initially thought I’d love the freedom of the writer’s life in the sense that I’d be able to write anywhere. That’s certainly true to an extent but the truth is that I tend to work best when I’m alone in my own space. I get too distracted trying to work on vacation, in relatives’ homes or in coffee shops.”

Sylvia also asked, “Do you have any advice for other writers?”

What I said was, “Writing is a really solitary activity but there has to be a balance. It is definitely important to take time to yourself to hear your inner voice and get it down on the page. However, you also need to have many experiences out and about with other people to be able to relate to them and keep on going productively in your work. Plus, when it comes time to market your book, you’re going to need each and every one of those people you know to help you spread the word! So strive for a balance!”

I’m curious how other writers feel about this balance between the solitary introspective part of the writing life and the need to be a social creature in the world for both creative reasons and business reasons. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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50% Discount: Learn How Crochet Saves Lives

crochet saved my life sale 208x300 50% Discount: Learn How Crochet Saves Lives

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I wanted to kick things off right this year with a big sale on my book, Crochet Saved My Life. I’m offering the steepest discount I’ve ever offered on the book – a full 50% off of the title when you purchase it this week.

About Crochet Saved My Life

If you aren’t yet familiar with my book, it is all about the health benefits of crochet including the benefits of crafting to heal from mental health issues and to cope with the symptoms of a variety of physical health issues.

Crochet Saved My Life includes my own story of crocheting to heal through depression. It also includes the stories of two dozen other amazing women who crafted to heal.

This book has received terrific press and reviews that can also tell you a little bit more about why people are enjoying this book.

Help Spread the Word

I am hoping that this big discount will stimulate sales and get the word about the book going strong again in 2013. If you support the book, please help me out by spreading the word about this sale through your blogs, social networks and other word of mouth! Every little bit helps and is so appreciated by this indie author!!

How to Get the Discount

To get your 50% discount code, visit the main sales page. Add the book(s) you want to your cart. Before checking out, enter the discount code A2MH8FQU in the “apply discount” box.

This sale starts immediately and runs through midnight PST on Sunday, 1/6/13.

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3 Reasons Crafting Helps Us Heal From Depression

dsc02993 300x225 3 Reasons Crafting Helps Us Heal From Depression

Radio host Cynthia Curry did a post on her blog awhile ago that mentioned my book, Crochet Saved My Life. She had some really smart things to say in that article and I wanted to share some of them. Specifically, I wanted to note that she mentioned three key reasons that hands-on craft work of any kind can be highly beneficial to people with a mental health issue like depression.

The three reasons that Cynthia cites are:

  1. Creative work is relaxing. This is something that was invaluable to me when using crochet to help me with both depression and anxiety. It continues to be a reason that I crochet today.
  2. It “gives you something to talk about other than your illness”. This is so incredibly true. In the worst periods of my depression I felt like all I ever talked about was how miserable I was. When I started crocheting, I had something new to say, finally. I’m not sure if my family and friends were as relieved about the change in subject as I was but it definitely boosted my self-esteem to be talking about something productive and creative for a change!
  3. It gives you an identity other than your illness. It is so easy to become focused on the label of our illness, seeing ourselves as depressed or bipolar, for example. However, we are so much more than our conditions. It isn’t health to narrowly define yourself, especially by something that is probably a negative thing for you. Being a crafter is a positive identity and one that you can happily share with others as one positive part of yourself.
Hands-on creative work is healing for many reasons and offers benefits for people with varied conditions. The three reasons Cynthia has cited are just the tip of a great iceberg but they are three terrific key points about why crochet and other arts are so beneficial!

 

 

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Catching Up with an Update

Things have been such a whirlwind of busy-ness in the last month. It’s a good thing, although the chaotic schedule has made me feel a little bit disorganized. Mostly I’ve been active in sharing and promoting my new book, Crochet Saved My Life, which is going really well. But I’ve also spent some time with friends, done a little bit of pet-sitting and kept myself active with creative stuff at home.

Update on Crochet Saved My Life

crochet saved my life book cover Catching Up with an Update

I did a pre-release sale of Crochet Saved My Life in July but it was officially released on August 1st. I set a goal of selling at least 100 copies of the book in August and between both print and eBook versions I succeeded in meeting that goal, which I am really happy about.

More importantly, I’ve received extremely positive feedback about the book from readers. They are reaching out to say that they really connected with the book, that they are glad this title has been written and that something really resonated with them and inspired them when reading it. That’s really important to me and makes me feel like the book has been a true success irrelevant of sales.

I’ve also been really happy with the press I’ve been able to garner in the online world. Crochet Saved My Life has been reviewed by:

And I’ve guest posted about topics related to the book on:

I’ve also made a huge effort lately to start geting people to do author interviews with me. Three have been published so far and more are in the works:

Spending time with Friends

In addition to spending a lot of time spreading the word about the book, I’ve done some fun social things as well. A friend of mine was in town visiting for a few weeks so we went and did a few things. We got cocktails at a really cute bar that I’d never been to. We got Chinese food at a great place way out by the ocean that I realized after we went I’d been to once before. We got pizza in a cute neighborhood I rarely make it over to. Yeah, I guess we ate a lot! We also had a dinner party with our other friends, which was themed around black and white foods. I did chili three ways that was totally delicious and made me want to make chili every day! I also made black and white rice, a platter of black and white snack foods (black olives, jicama, etc.) and a pasta salad using black and white bowtie pasta.

Other that that I’ve just gone out a few times. I saw the Katy Perry 3D movie, which was a little cheesy but so fun. I love anything in 3D. And I’ve discovered that I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for the kind of music documentaries that are really meant for teenage girls and not women in their thirties. We all have sweet indulgences, right?

Pet-Sitting

I’m getting ready to petsit at a house with five great pets so I’ve been going out there to get all of the final stuff figured out so that I’m all set for the week. The best thing about this is seeing the truly unique, vibrant, sometimes ridiculous personalities of these pets. There are two dogs and they both are so unique and fun and silly. My favorite pet is probably the Burmese cat, though, just because he is seriously so amazingly loving. If I ever get a cat I’m going to definitely consider this breed.

Activities at Home

I seem to be pretty busy at home as well. I’m in this decluttering phase, which happens all of the time. I physically clean out my space to psychically clean out my head. I’m still cluttered, though, physically and psychically. It’s an ongoing process, which I know means I’m in transition.

I also seem to be cluttered in my reading – starting a book and then putting it down and starting something else even though I’m interested in what I’m reading. Right now I’m reading Lip Service, a book about the power of a smile. I just started Breakthrough, a creative non-fiction piece about the discovery and development of insulin as a treatment for diabetes. I started a book about an FDLS leader in Utah but it kind of lost my interest after the first half or so. I am working my way through the chapters in Richard Polsky’s Art Prophets; it’s about the movers and shakers of the art world but each chapter stands on its own pretty well.

I did start and finish one book recenty: The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok. I had mentioned to my dad awhile ago that I was reading a book about memory and he mentioned a book written by an author he’d met at an MFA conference, which was this book by Bartok. I happened to see the book recently when browsing at the library so I got it and really enjoyed it. It’s her true story of living with a schizophrenic mother but it’s told through a unique lens. As an adult Bartok was in an accident that affected her memory so memory is really important to her; she retrieves it using the tool of The Memory Palace (placing pictures in spaces visually in her mind). After her mother’s death, she gets her mom’s journals that she kept throughout her lifetime. The book incorporates memories told through The Memory Palace with snippets of writing from her mother’s journals. It’s unique and moving.

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Crochet Saved My Life Press Release

For those of you who don’t also follow my crochet blog, here’s the official press release for my new book, Crochet Saved My Life:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kathryn Vercillo, www.crochetsavedmylife.com

New Book Says Craft of Crochet Is Saving People’s Lives

 

August 1, 2012. San Francisco, CA.

A new book is available suggesting that the age-old craft of crochet is not just a hobby but can actually be a life-saving tool with benefits for people trying to overcome the difficulties of a diverse range of physical and mental health conditions. Crochet Saved My Life uses a combination of memoir, biography and research to explore how crochet has been used both historically and in modern times to help people heal from depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, pregnancy complications, chronic pain conditions and even early Alzheimer’s.

Kathryn Vercillo wrote Crochet Saved My Life based on her own experience of using crochet in conjunction with therapy and medication to survive lifelong, life-threatening depression. When she first began to tell people that she was writing about how crochet had saved her life, she expected to be laughed at. Instead, she was inundated with story upon story from people who felt that the craft had saved their lives as well. The author went on to interview nearly two-dozen women about their experiences. The group is made up of women who are professionals in the industry, working as crochet designers, craft book editors, and crochet bloggers as well as women from other walks of life. This new book shares their stories along with her own to highlight the many facets of crochet that make it a great therapeutic tool for people of all ages.

Crochet is a popular craft. In fact, a 2010 study by the Craft and Hobby Association found that crocheting is the seventh most popular craft by sales (with estimated annual industry sales exceeding one billion dollars) and the third most popular craft by household participation (with more than 17 million participants). It is more popular than knitting, jewelry making and woodworking and more profitable in sales than card making and wedding crafts. Each of these people may be able to benefit from the craft’s therapeutic value and this book tells them how.

Crochet Saved My Life discusses how crochet can be a healing tool used by individuals as well as in group settings including nursing homes, substance abuse programs and hospitals. The book is designed to be approachable by people who don’t crochet but who may find that the craft benefits them individually or benefits the patients that they work with. That group includes counselors, OT industry professionals, therapists, residential treatment center staff and even teachers.

Crochet Saved My Life (ISBN: 1478190450) is a self-published work. It is available in print through CreateSpace, Amazon US and Amazon UK. This book is also available as a Kindle download. It is part of the Kindle Lending Library and so is free to Amazon prime members who use that service. It is possible for retail stores to purchase the book at wholesale rates using Amazon’s CreateSpace Direct Reseller program. Information on ordering can be found at www.crochetsavedmylife.com.

Kathryn Vercillo has been a freelance writer for more than ten years. She is the author of two previous books published through Schiffer and has been a contributing author on other book projects. Her work has been published in magazines including Latina Magazine and Skope. Kathryn has worked as a professional blogger for numerous websites including PC World, Dial-a-phone, SF Travel, and Houzz. Her online articles about crochet have been published around the web on sites that include Crochetvolution, Crochet Liberation Front, SF Indie Fashion and Handmadeology. Her Crochet Concupiscence blog was voted one of the Top 5 2012 craft blogs in Inside Crochet Magazine and was a 2011 runner-up for a Flamie award from the CLF. More information about the author is available at www.kathrynvercillo.com.  You can contact Kathryn directly for additional information or to request a digital press kit.

You can order your copy here.

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