I’m a maker, and you should be too. At work, I make code. Code for websites, code for our rebate and rewards platforms, code for our mobile apps or anything else we do where code might be needed. But in my spare time I make stuff, and I cannot stress to you enough that you should too.
Too often we can get mired down in the daily routine and lose touch with our creative side. For me, making stuff is a way to keep in touch with that voice, a way to stay curious. Deciding to do something you’ve never tried before directly leads to seeking out new information, new methods, new mediums, new materials, and I find myself asking “why” and “how” a lot. Information is freely and readily available, and while I have many “how-to” channels bookmarked on YouTube I regularly buy various maker publications on woodworking, graphics, robotics, electronics, and even coding (yes, coding is an art).
The goal isn’t always necessarily to create a masterpiece, although with time and experience you’d be surprised at what you can really do. The goal is to get outside of your daily routine, leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself in ways that will make you grow. And don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is how we grow. I’ve discarded more failed projects than I’ve completed by far. Some get tossed out, some repurposed for new projects, some are still waiting on the shelf for my final determination.
There are as many different ways to make stuff as there are different kinds of stuff to be made. Draw, paint, make a birdhouse, craft a piece of furniture, build a set of bookshelves with cinder blocks and boards, remodel a room…or your entire house, restore a classic car.
So instead of spending your evenings and weekends rehashing the previous week’s tasks, spreadsheets, and meetings, or planning the next week’s…go make something. Take your mind off the mundane and get lost in the details of an art or craft. Not sure where to start? Take a class, join a maker space, learn. It will both expand and refresh your mind and maybe that’s a good thing.
Above all, stay curious. It keeps me young, and I hope it will do the same for you.