Ever heard the expression, “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well?” Well, when it comes to DIY, it’s better to remember Ghandi’s wise words – “ Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
I recently read the book, Made By Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World, by Mark Frauenfelder. In it, he talks about the importance of doing things and of playing. Traditional schooling teaches us that mistakes are bad. What Frauenfeldger emphasizes is that mistakes are the things that teach us the best and help us to grow and learn.
Don’t get me wrong, when you have an idea in your head of how you want something to turn out, and it doesn’t exactly happen, or the path to get there seems rather long and roundabout, it can be frustrating. Sometimes excruciatingly frustrating. But, when it comes to DIY, the mistakes don’t bother me so much. Instead, I take a step back and really think about what I want to do. I don’t mind going through a mental process to reach a desired outcome when I’m making something. Strangely, I enjoy it. (Scott will also tell you that I talk to myself so much it sounds like I’m having a conversation with another person.)
When we started our blog, there was that small part of me that thought that everything had to be perfect since we were putting it out there for the world to see. Not so. The approach to DIY is doing, and doing means trial and error and making mistakes. Not everything will be perfect all the time, but I guarantee you will learn something every time.
As I wrote in my bio, “Being creative makes me happy.” Why? Because there is no set right and wrong. There is an outcome and some are better than others, but there is always an interesting journey to get there. When you make something with your hands, you feel connected to it, you get lost in it. Perhaps it’s a form of creative mindfulness. Sometimes I embark on a project with no plan. Sometimes I have it all mapped out. Sometimes I have absolutely no clue how to begin and I have to do some research to get me started. Always, though, I enjoy the process of DIY. So don’t let the fear of mistakes hold you back. Let them push you forward. Have fun doing!