Are you a Maker? A cook? A needleworker? An artist? A musician? A coder? A tinkerer? A popsicle-stick dollmaker? A flower-arranger? Do you collect recyclables to repurpose? Have you made every gift you’ve ever given for as long as you can remember? If something holds still long enough, will you decorate it, paint it, dress it for holidays, or turn it into something else? Would you rather make something than buy it? Do you feel not-quite-yourself unless your hands are busy with felt or clay or wires or piano keys? Does baking help you focus? Does sewing calm your mind? You are a Maker, and you are not alone!
I am a Maker! In addition to making stories, I also do needlework, cosplay, historical costuming, quilting, and assorted sewing. I like to color, and I’ve tinkered with knitting, topiary, home improvement, propmaking, cake decorating…. I like to stitch or sew things related to the books I’m writing, to bring them out of my head and into a tangible, touchable, real-world medium. But I’m a timid Maker; I do a lot of research before I commit to trying something, and I am constantly convinced that the very next step in a project is the one that will ruin everything! Thankfully, this has not actually ever happened, and even grievous mistakes are nearly always fixable. Making helps me make sense of the world, and gives me the confidence to take on newer and bigger challenges.
Read more about my personal Philosophy of Making, how important Making is to me—and to the universe—in my 2009 Morris Award acceptance speech delivered to the American Library Association for A Curse Dark as Gold (a book about Makers).
Makers are everywhere. They are in your local community garden. Your 4-H club. Your computer club at school. The senior center in your hometown. At summer camp, and in detention centers. Together, we help stave off entropy and channel a positive spirit of creativity and creation. It’s easy to find Makers once you start looking, and to join up with others to use your Making to make the world better. If you haven’t already found your local community of Makers, check out the Resources in the sidebar.
There are also lots of places for Makers to gather online, which is wonderful if your local Maker community doesn’t make the same things you do! You can find safe places for Makers on Pinterest and project ideas on YouTube.