Starting anything new is hard for me. I’m not especially indecisive, but I am a perfectionist, and a determined researcher, and a gadget-lover, so beginning any new activity, whether it’s an entirely new hobby or just a new project, is necessarily a bit of an undertaking with me. It’s not enough that I want try something, or that I have the time or space to work on it—I first have to understand what skills are considered essential and where to learn them; I have to survey the required tools to decide which are necessary, which are helpful, and which give a superior outcome before gathering them up; and I have to wring my hands and agonize over whether, even with all the knowledge and tools available to me, I’ll be able to get the results I want. Suffice it to say that this is not a particularly efficient or effective method of arriving at a finished project. Although I seldom lack the motivation to see a project through, there’s no arguing that you can’t finish what you didn’t start.
The online community of makers, I’ve discovered, is robust, supportive, and prolific—in essence, possessed all of the qualities that I strive for. For months I’ve admired the way the sewists, knitters, and DIYers that I follow offer one another encouragement and constructive feedback, confronting various kinds of adversity with maturity, poise, and general awesomeness. I’ve also envied how productive many of them are, and the way that participating in a community has spurred them to set and achieve goals that would have otherwise seemed out of reach. And, let’s be honest, I’m downright jealous of the meet-ups, craft conventions, and community events where liked-minded folk get together with people who are just as enthusiastic as they are about Making All The Things. I’ve yet to find an in-person creative community where I felt like I fit in, but these online communities make you feel like you belong just by showing up. I’ve read, I’ve followed, and I’ve commented, and now it’s time for me to start participating.
Enter this blog. (Which, in the interest of full disclosure, had more than its fair share of false starts. I expect I’ll share about that one day, perhaps on the blog’s first anniversary, when it’s a distant enough memory that I can laugh about it instead of feeling faintly embarrassed.) If I want to be a part of a community of makers, I need to start making things, so this is my first contribution, which I hope will be part inspirational showcase, part instructional resource, and part kick-in-the-pants to me and everyone else who needs to just start doing and miking the the things we want.
This blog is also a gift to myself, an avenue for writing more. I love to write, and yet I’ve written only infrequently over the last several years. My ostensibly writing-focused job offers little opportunity for original content generation. Keeping a daily diary was a habit that never stuck with me, and my attempts at more free-form journaling tended to wax and wane with the major events of my life. Blogging about planned projects, Works-in-Progress (WIPs) and Finished Objects (FOs), which seems inherently forward-looking rather than present- or backward-looking, appeals to the part of me that hates leaving things half-done and loves having a thing to enjoy and show off, and is therefore a much better motivator than the vagaries of my emotional condition.
To keep me on track, my first series of posts will revolve on participating in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure 2015, which is aimed at getting your home clean, organized, and working for you instead of against you. I completed Assignment #1: A Weekend of Flowers and Floors this afternoon: I purchased a bouquet of white daisies for the dining room table, and I thoroughly vacuumed all of our carpets and laminate. You’ll have to trust me on this, since it the weather was too dismal to get a decently lit photo of the grocery store bouquet, and a shot of beige carpet is hardly the stuff thrilling posts are made of. More exciting home adventures are definitely to come.
So here’s to starting new things, whether they be home improvements, fulfilling relationships, creative endeavors, or just another project among many. Cheers!