The Evolution of a Book…

The book I am currently writing is not the same book I started out writing. A Knitter’s Guide to Beer has become much deeper, more meaningful, more spiritual and, in many ways, far more important than my original concept.

Originally it was to be an introduction to beer and beer styles, combined with knitting projects and yarn/beer pairings. The book has instead become a rebel call-to-action. An attempt to inspire the reader to become more self-sufficient; to find joy in the process of creating, rather than just consuming;  to connect to the life energy in the plants that provide us the grain and spices for brewing; and to feel gratitude to the yeast for converting those grains into something wonderful and nutritious to drink (yes, I said nutritious!).

You may be wondering if we can truly connect to all these amazing energies without actually doing the brewing ourselves. The answer is no. We might be able to see the energy by learning to appreciate well-brewed craft beers (this is an important step and this information will still be a part of my book), but we won’t feel the energy unless we pick up the brew kettle ourselves.

I will be doing my best to inspire the reader to start homebrewing… especially my female readers. Brewing is in our blood, in our history, and in our spirit. It’s time to bring our female qualities back into beer. Women were the brewers for tens of thousands of years. It was just a few hundred years ago that brewing made the transition from female to male.

Twenty thousand years ago, it was a goddess who gave life and abundance and it was the goddess who, out of a mother’s love and pity for her fallen children, gave the gift of brew to the women of mankind.

In all ancient societies, in the religious mythologies of all ancient cultures, beer was a gift to women from a goddess, never a male god, and women remained bonded in complex religious relationships with feminine deities who blessed the brew vessels.

– Alan Eames, 1995

With all of the challenges facing our society today, I see solutions in the empowerment of individual Americans. Once we start realizing that we don’t need to be certified, licensed or to have a degree in order to be skilled, we can start doing things for ourselves. Things that we were always told we couldn’t do… like learn without a teacher, heal without a doctor, resolve conflicts without a lawyer or fix our toilet without a licensed plumber.

The more we learn to do for ourselves, the less control big business will have over us, because they will get less of our money and their power will decline with each dollar they don’t get.

The way to get there is to start with the little things, like learning to knit or brew. Start with something that sparks an interest, creates inspiration, and ignites a passion .  Once a skill is acquired a sense of empowerment often follows, as well as a hunger to gain even more skills.

The book has become something that I really want to write, which makes doing so quite a bit easier. Progress is starting to happen. I’m on a slightly different path, but it’s clearly the right one.

I’ll definitely be needing to revise my book’s Concept Statement at least one more time.

-Jenne Hiigel


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