How To Write About Crafts

comments (2) April 24th, 2013     

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Jeff_Rudell Jeffery Rudell, contributor
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Author Jeffery Rudell talks about some of the basic skills needed to be a craft contributor. His latest book, Paper Blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers to Make for Weddings, Celebrations & More has just been published by Sterling Publishing.
This paper chandelier was built from more than 700 hand-cut components.
This photo prop was originally featured in Good Housekeeping Magazine. Later I used it as a case study in a post I wrote about creating editorial props
Author Jeffery Rudell talks about some of the basic skills needed to be a craft contributor. His latest book, Paper Blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers to Make for Weddings, Celebrations & More has just been published by Sterling Publishing.

Author Jeffery Rudell talks about some of the basic skills needed to be a craft contributor. His latest book, Paper Blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers to Make for Weddings, Celebrations & More has just been published by Sterling Publishing.

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After years of writing online about paper crafts, I have just completed a book of paper flowers entitled Paper Blooms. Now that the book has been published (CraftStylish readers can enter here to win a copy) the question I keep hearing is, "How does someone get a book deal?"

There are countless answers to that question but for me, the process started right here at CraftStylish.com. The projects I posted here, and the lessons I learned while doing them, contributed directly to my success in getting a publisher to consider my work.

Which brings us to a more relevant question, how can you begin establishing yourself as an online contributor? The process is easier than you may think. You'll need to have a few basic skills, but with a little effort, you can turn your love of crafts into something that can be shared with hundreds, even thousands, of people online and, if you are lucky, in bookstores across the nation.

These guidelines are not comprehensive, but if you can master them your work is likely to get the attention of web masters, creative directors, and editors alike. The process breaks down into three simple categories: choose good projects, take good pictures, and write good copy. Let's start with the most important of the three.

Choose Good Projects

Teach What You Know – A great deal of emphasis is often put on being original. A great new idea is wonderful but don't forget there is an enormous audience of people who are looking to learn basic skills, skills you already have, possibly even skills you think of as common. If you possess the basic skills needed to crochet, knit, construct paper props (like me), sculpt, paint, weave, needle felt wool, or any of a million other crafts, there is a place for you writing tutorials. The world is hungry for knowledge. If you possess the knowledge of how to do something, and the know-how to teach it to others, you are well on your way to becoming a craft writer.

Go To Extremes – While many people are eager to learn the basic skills mentioned above, there is also an audience for more advanced projects. Don't be afraid to tackle something big, complicated, and extraordinary. A complicated project not only gives people a glimpse at advanced skills, it also offers insight into other, related challenges such as scale, time management, motivation, and collaboration. Don't be afraid to aim high.

  This paper chandelier was built from more than 700 hand-cut components; an extreme project for almost anyone. Yet,
after it was posted here, a number of CraftStylish readers rose to the challenge and created their own versions.

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posted in: blogging, writing for crafts, tips for craft writers

Comments (2)

Cyd88 writes: I am SO glad to hear about your new book! Congratulations! I can't wait to see it. And you really are a master at clear instructions and making something complicated seem simple ... (and I found, following what you say to do makes the project relatively simple. Thank you, Jeffery!
Posted: 2:48 am on May 6th
Flanerie writes: I have long admired Jeffery Rudell's paper creations in the posts on this site. Beautiful work!
Thank you for this article - this is the type of thing I'm interested in learning about. I'm already a freelance writer for a newspaper but as a lifelong avid crafter and artist am interested in finding out how to move into that area of writing.
Love his advice here to go ahead and offer those challenging projects. While I imagine some people must look at Rudell's projects sometimes and think, 'I can't do that,' it's actually the best way to get better at something--- to push yourself a little past what you think you can do, and what a great feeling it is when you find you CAN do it. Even if your version doesn't look exactly as professional as his does, it'll be just great on its own merits.
Posted: 10:20 am on May 4th
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