When Worlds Collide: Television, Crafts, and Lots of Yarn

Every so often my worlds collide. And I love it.

Sometimes that involves writing about food and television, but usually it means I’m writing about knitting, crocheting, yarn, or crafts.

Last week I got a double dose. My column about a new, crowd-funded digital series—The Knit Show with Vickie Howell—ran, and my article from the current issue of emmy—about NBCUniversal’s acquisition of Craftsy.com—was posted on the magazine’s website.

My idea of multitasking: knitting while streaming The Knit Show.

Writing is always easier when the subject involves something you truly enjoy. Being well-versed about a topic never hurts, and can give you and edge in landing certain assignments.

The fact that I love knitting, crocheting, and yarn makes it easy to spot potential article ideas other writers covering the television industry might miss. For instance:

  • When I learned Lion Brand Yarn was making licensed knit and crochet kits inspired by the series Outlander, I pitched this story.
  • After seeing footage of a TV reporter who drew the attention of Jimmy Kimmel during a commercial break of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, I thought my editors might like a short piece that involved television in two ways. They did.
  • I wrote my first knitting-related article for emmy long before it started posting articles online:  “Keeping ‘Em in Stitches” (February 2005). It was about how popular knitting had become among actors as a way to pass time between shots (this was pre-smart phones, when people found more creative ways to kill time).

I also write a lot about business, so I looked for ways crafts and business overlap. That led to writing “OK Computer: Don’t Leave Customers to Their Own Devices” for the August 2012 issue of Yarn Market News. The focus was on independent yarn shops’ policies on sharing wifi passwords with customers, and allowing free use of the stores’ tablets or computers.

The point is: you can use your hobbies, outside interests, and experiences to give yourself an advantage over other freelancers when breaking into new markets. You can also mine those same talents to demonstrate your knowledge of related industries when approaching copywriting and corporate clients. It’s not that hard to find a hook once you start looking.

Fellow writers: How have you turned your passions into assignments?

 

 

 

 

Specializing

Remember last week when I mentioned All Indie Writers founder Jenn Mattern?

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of All Indie Writers, Jenn decided to interview several long-time freelancers to find out how the freelance writing business has changed over the past five or ten years.

I’m fortunate to be one the freelance writing pros she asked to participate. Over the weekend I answered some of her detailed questions, and today she posted the results: Paula Hendrickson on Choosing Her Freelance Writing Specialty.

Not only do I hope you’ll take time to read my answers, I encourage you to read Jenn’s interviews with other writers and browse the site to uncover even more great writing advice.