On Making

(Image: canva.com)

I wish more people would make things.

By “make things” I mean pretty much anything. Writing, crafting, constructing, welding, coding … whatever.

The “things” we make, even if primarily for ourselves, often end up benefiting others, and often in ways we can never predict.

The software I played a minor role in creating years ago helped people to connect. The answers I write today help people deal with technology. The opinions I write today encourage people to think.

The things you make — physical or otherwise — are released into the world, with results that we often never see or hear.

Sometimes there’s no result. Sometimes the results are delayed, perhaps even by lifetimes. Sometimes the results are small but meaningful, perhaps even to only one person.

Even if you never hear of the result, even if you’re disappointed by the results you do hear, Make The Thing you were meant to make, whatever it might be.

As Austin Kleon said in “Steal Like an Artist“, do good work, and share it with others.

Even if you don’t think you’re at “good” work, just do work. Practice your craft. Above all, keep making things so you get better at making things.

Do the thing you were meant to do, and share it with others.

It’s cheesy as hell, and perhaps even hard to believe, but Marie Forleo’s tag line — “The world needs that special gift that only you have” — is right on target. You owe it to the world to do the thing that only you can do.

Even if not for the world, then perhaps one person is enough. A quote I stumble across from time to time: “To the world you might be just one person, but to one person you might be their whole world.”

To that one person, whatever you make could mean everything.