My Maker Manifesto

When I make things sometimes I get distracted with the tools, materials, and conditions under which I Make. I’ve reflected on this. I’ve figured out what brings me joy. From those conclusions I’ve formulated a manifesto for myself. It helps me remember what counts. I’m sharing it in case it helps any of you get more fun out of your work and play.

IDEAS – Big picture

  1. As you work on a project, ask yourself “Is this bringing me joy?”
  2. The fun is in the making, the discovery, the building. It isn’t what you get when you’re all done.
  3. Competitions and achieving goals should be fun too. Just don’t wait for them to enjoy the process.
  4. If it’s time to stop your Making for school, work, or family, remember that extra time makes a project better.
  5. Experts don’t have fun proving how much they know. Embrace what you don’t know; it’s a discovery!
  6. Understanding is born from doing. Don’t begin by trying to understand it. Just observe what happens as you follow a plan, schematic, or instructions. Understanding will come. It will be genuine and of the highest utility.

THINGS – Nuts and bolts

  1. Don’t seek the perfect tools, workshop, computing platform, programming language, soldering iron, etc.
  2. Use what you already have or takes little planning and even less money to get.
  3. Allow time to make a list of your assets; an inventory of parts, materials, tools, project partners, goals, and information sources. This helps focus on Rule number 1 (Don’t try to buy stuff too soon).
  4. Don’t try to anticipate your need for “Inventory.” Wait until you need “it”, then put it on your “need to find” list. Keep this list small. Remember scavenging, roadside castoffs, craigslist, and flea markets.

PEOPLE – We are not alone

  1. Don’t marginalize your hobbies. Be proud and set aside time for them. Nobody else needs to like them.
  2. Don’t wait for participation from your family. This is YOUR hobby; your fun!
  3. Share your hobby when others show interest in it.
  4. Don’t be a missionary for your hobby. The world will be just fine without another XYZ programmer/builder/crafter.
  5. Share your hobby a little bit at a time. Remember Rule #1 and help others learn it so they can decide what parts, if any, of your hobby they really like. Maybe they only have a passing interest in your hobby. Rule #1 works for any endeavor.