Wednesday, November 23, 2016
finding the confidence to begin...
I've been woodworking for many years now, and have made enough mistakes in the process to have embarrassed myself many times in a field just as arcane as fly fishing and in which I've learned it best to not take myself too seriously.
I heard a radio interview with Nick Offerman last week. He is an American comedian, general all around goofball, and woodworker. He reminded his listeners (particularly those who want to do woodworking) that we all make mistakes.
I have been contacted by many people over the years, who have wondered how to start woodworking programs. I am reminded of my own hesitancy to take the plunge with regards to entangling my lines in brush, and in neighbor's lines and the embarrassment that might ensue. The thing a person has to do whether beginning to fly fish for the first time, or do woodworking, is to simply begin. Either can launched (if you prefer) as a solitary adventure. Try fishing in your back yard first. Try woodworking in your basement with the fewest possible tools. Then seek guidance. Friends can help.
Yesterday I got a phone call from a doctor in Nebraska, asking for a bit of guidance on gluing up a box. The best I could actually accomplish over the phone was to remind him that this whole thing cannot be taken too seriously. Learning must not be that way. When we remember that learning is the most natural thing a human being can do, aside from eating, and sleeping, and most things in which we find joy had to be learned for the first time.
Launch yourself. Then when you have learned a few things, share them, share the techniques through which you, yourself have learned, and launch others. Doing it yourself first will bring what seemed abstract into the concrete, in your life and in the lives of others. Gaining some small level of confidence as a woodworker will help a great deal when it becomes time to teach others.
Tomorrow I will offer a link to the Taunton Press website, giving a 20% discount on my new book, Tiny Boxes.
Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.