Last weekend, I got to try out my other skills when I participated in a local, handmade fair. When I’m not pounding away at the keyboard, I’m usually making things with fabric and yarn. I’d tried selling my work on Etsy, but had allowed other things to get in the way of finishing more projects, so I looked at this fair as great way to get unstuck. For six weeks I worked like mad to finish old projects and wrap up new ones. It was a great feeling to see so many tangible things from my many hours of hard work. So it was a disappointment to hear my work and time readily dismissed throughout the day.
“I have that pattern at home.”
“I could sew that.”
“That’s too much money.”
It’s one thing if someone doesn’t like my work, but I was baffled to hear in one form or another the idea that what I did was so easy they could either replicate it themselves or didn’t see the value. The price I put on my items covers the cost of materials and maybe minimum wage for the number of hours worked. I do the work because I love it, but I refuse to let people dismiss my hard work, and by connection the hard work of others like me.
Not Only Handmade
The perception that something is easy to do seems to have taken hold in a way I haven’t seen previously. While I appreciate fully the power of technology to make certain tasks more accessible to a wider number of people, technology does not completely counter the need for skills or frankly, a lot of hard work.
Think about the people in the online world who’ve achieved great success. Without fail there’s always the dismissers, the people who are quick to say, “I could do that,” but never do. They’re quick to criticize, usually without offering a valid alternative.
I’m tired of seeing and hearing people who “don’t” attack the people who “do.”
You don’t have to like my work, but don’t you dare say that it’s easy or has no value. Maybe not to you, but unless you’re willing to ante up, I don’t want to hear it anymore.
If you want to have a best-selling book, write one. Quit slamming people who’ve already got one. If you want to host a widely popular webinar AND charge money for it, then figure out what the market wants and do it. If you want a custom quilt, then by hell, buy the 12 different fabrics, cut out 200+ pieces, and sew the damn thing together.
It’s not easy to sit down and come up with words that string together into powerful sentences and come together to make big ideas. And it’s not easy to take your version of the blank canvas and create something out of nothing. It
make may look easy, but that’s just the result of time and a willingness to do the hard work.
So the next time you see me, please don’t say, “I could do that, too.” I highly doubt it, and you’ll just piss me off.