Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why I'm Renting A Blowtorch Instead Of Reading How To's

via Le Fashion
I've been reading a lot lately on how to be a better ____________. Because everyone out there has tips for you to follow. I admit, it's a nice way to write a post or an article and a lot of the time I like/need some general direction to whatever ridiculous thing I've decided to do.
1) How To Apply Make-Up Like You Care About This Date
2) How To Create The Illusion That You Cook By Buying Things That People Have In A Kitchen
3) How To Exercise Without Looking Ridiculous Because You're Running To Nowhere With 50 Other People In This Gym.

That sort of thing.

Also, I know I write How To's sometimes too so I'm not even sure I'll post this due to its hypocritical content.
Now I'd like to weld. I've gotten it in my mind that I can make the perfect coffee table/chair / sculpture if I can figure out how to do this. This isn't news, I've wanted to weld for a while and I know it involves a blow torch of some kind and I've told lots of people about my new wannabe hobby and most of them have said things like "how are you going to do that?" "In your apartment?" and "what's wrong with you, there's a Pottery Barn a mile away from your house". I figured that either someone could teach me or I could look up a How To on the Internet.
This is when I figured out that How To's don't really work that well. A How To can't teach me to blow torch anything, or how to paint a picture, or how to have style, or how to do most things that are important. Sure, it can give me some steps but that's where I get a false sense of accomplishment. I planned to learn to blow torch months ago and have I done it? No! What have I done... well, I've sort of skimmed a few websites.
Because of the practice I've had skimming websites, I'm very good at that. In fact, I've made a career out of it BUT I have no skill in things I haven't done. Which means I'll be renting a blow torch soon.
It also works on the internet by the way. Want to write a better blog? Network online better? Network online at all? Read the How To's but don't forget to try it.


Blogger ferrikrake said...

Loved this. So very true. Before graduation I asked one of my favorite professors for his last bit of advice. "My advice," he said, "Is stop listening to other's advice." Best non-advice I've ever gotten :) The best way to live one's life, to try out a new hobby, or whatever it may to go out and just DO. So refreshing!

May 28, 2009 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous JR Moreau said...

how-to's can be useful when you don't know where the hell to start, but you're right, you gotta mess around and fuck up a lot before you get good at anything. I always try to remember back to when I was a kid and my grandfather or uncles would try and show me how to do stuff like plumbing and car maintenance and I would daydream instead of pay attention. Thankfully it wasn't all lost on me.

May 28, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

ferrirake - I love the idea of non-advice! You should write a post about that!

JR Moreau - It occurred to me last night that there are probably a whole lot more lost fingers and things like that on account of the "just get out there and do it" idea but it has got to be satisfying knowing that you taught yourself how to do something :)

May 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A blow torch is used to cut metal, they are pretty easy to use. A welder, however, is very much a skill you have to master... my advice - have someone teach you.

I enjoy your blog I would hate not reading it anymore because you blew your hands off.

- Monster

May 28, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

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