Tools for Making, Not for Comparing

Don’t let hobbyists take away from the hobby + My favorite tools

Be Careful As A Beginner

There’s nothing more dangerous than getting into a creative hobby through an enthusiast community obsessed with tools. I’ve spent more time on places like r/mechanicalkeyboards (for keyboards), r/fountainpens (for fountain pens), Badger & Blade (for wet shaving), and Tablet PC Review (for Tablet PC discussion and reviews; RIP old forum) researching and comparing tools than buying anything and making with it.

There’s a fine line between creating something and simply discussing the tools to make it happen, the latter which involves talking more about specs and theory, than building anything. Countless hours spent comparing camera megapixels (not important at this point), tablet pressure sensitivity (all good enough in modern tablets), or the blackest possible ink for art (want pure black? Modify the levels in a photo editing program). Fun for the mind, but with nothing to show for it, unless I want to show off.

Using Enthusiastic Information

These days I use lively discussion forums for research, while pulling back as soon as I get what I need.

Get the bare minimum you need to start. For whatever hobby you want. Photography, start learning composition and use your phone or any camera; art, get a pencil and draw what you like; journaling, start writing in some blank sheets of paper. Use the damn thing(s) as long as you can, how it works and forming your own opinion. Make, break, create. As you get better you can reassess whether you need to upgrade (for good reason) or make do with what you have.

The tools are fun, they can be very exciting and enticing and shiny.

But, they don’t make the work.

You do.

My Favorite No Longer Shiny Tools

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