I’ve always delayed buying real tools for creative projects. This comes out a general disinclination towards consumerism. Nobody likes the feeling of buying something and not using it enough to justify the purchase. I’ve always preferred to have not-too-much stuff and love the things I have.
But there is a down-side to this.
For example, I was sewing for nearly fifteen years before I bought industrial sewing machines (i.e. real tools.) These tools changed my life. They were expensive, extremely heavy, and intimidating, but they made it possible to work in a way I had not imagined prior.
For someone making things, working with real tools is about 1000 times better than working with the cheap domestic facsimile. The “home version” or the “non-pro” version is usually about 50% the price of the real thing, and has about 25% of the capacity for some functions, and 0% for others. There’s no room to stretch or grow with the home version.
But, as said, I put off buying real tools, typically for years, because I don’t want to make frivolous purchases.
I’ve been contemplating making videos for years now. I’ve been making videos and putting them on youtube for a couple years (using extremely rudimentary tools- built into the laptop and/or iphone.) But there’s a frustration to the process anytime I try to stretch it a little (like: what do you mean I can’t separate the audio file from the video file and overlay a different video stream in imovie on the iphone? Or: It’s too dark to shoot 7 months out of the year for most of the day in Portland Maine.)
As I was hemming and hawing to Daniel about whether I should buy actual tools for making video, I remembered that one of our first joint business purchases had been a professional camera.
“Hey, can’t I just use that camera?”
“No- it would be a total pain to sync voice. It doesn’t have a mic jack.”
“Oh. When did we buy that thing anyhow?”
“Um, seven years ago. We’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth, many times over, thousands of product photos later.”
Right. Wow. Seven years ago….It’s a lifetime in terms of digital technology.
So the moral of the story: Take a minute and look at your own process. Do you delay getting the right tools for irrationally long periods of time? Why? What’s your reasoning?
Because getting the right tools is like (corny as it sounds) saying to your subconscious, I hear you and I’m actually paying attention. You want to make x? Great. Here’s the starter kit. Let’s go!