Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just Do It

Years ago I was asked to be liturgist during a church service. That meant getting up in front of the congregation of 200 and reading passages from the bible.

Besides running a lathe, public speaking is probably the only thing I'm afraid of. Oh, and spiders.

When I mentioned my anxiety about getting up in front of the congregation to my parents, my Dad said, "Bulls**t, get your *ss up there and do it."

Dad's not the best motivational guru but I did what he said, didn't trip on my way to pulpit, didn't faint, and lived to read another day.

What's this have to do with Get Woodworking Week?

I've noticed how often we delay starting a project because we're afraid we'll mess up, waste wood, make something that's not fit for show, won't know what we're doing, etc, etc., especially if we're planning to do something we've never done before.

This can be a roadblock, particularly for new woodworkers.

My advice is to just do it. Jump right in. Find a project in a magazine that spells out the details and start building.

One of my very first projects.
And I'm proud to show it.
As Chuck Bender said at a recent SAPFM meeting: woodworkers are afflicted with paralysis by analysis. Because of this and for other reasons, Chuck has started an online program to help woodworkers get moving.

And once you build your first couple projects, be proud of them. They represent the beginning of your exciting adventure in woodworking. The first project I made (which I no longer have because someone in the house pitched it) was a few small pieces of wood tacked together to form a box, and a scrollsawn cactus, painted with crazy southwestern designs, glued on the front.

Be fearless.

It's what I'm going to tell myself when I stand up in front of a group of strangers in April to give a presentation at a local museum.

And if you need more words of encouragement to get started woodworking, I'll be glad to give you my Dad's number.