I was four when I made my first discernible clay piece. It was a gift for my parents’ anniversary. My parents were so proud of me when I made it, though when I look back at it now I suspect that was out of nicety rather than appreciation.
It’s been ten years since then and crafting is the only habit that I’ve stuck with. I’ve branched out into crochet, origami, sculpting, and even sold some jewellery I made. But being good at it was not why I stuck with it.
Most people refrain from pursuing crafts as a hobby because they “are bad at them”. I want all of you to dispose of this misconception. It’s terrible how baseline human activities like crafting, singing, and dancing got turned into skills, rather than being seen as behaviours. So now the point of doing them is to get good at them and not that this is a thing that humans do, the way birds sing and bees make hives.
Contrary to the popular belief, craft is not limited to predefined techniques and skills. Craft is knowing how to sew back a broken button, or using ‘jugaad’ to fix things around the house. If you can do these basic activities, you already own a skill set that is unique to you. You can pick up these skills and practice them. And that is what craft is all about.
So, crochet a scarf with holes in it. Make a lopsided origami crane. Make jewellery that is ugly and breaks easily. But do it. Removing all expectations from yourself allows you to replace them with enthusiasm that helps you enjoy the craft for what it is.
So what I’m trying to do is urge you to pick up a craft and not expect or aim to be good at it. To paraphrase Simone Giertz, a scarf with holes might not be the answer, but it at least gets you asking the question.