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Making, creating and repairing things have three basic requirements: skills, materials and tools. But there’s a nebulous fourth requirement – the motivation to do it.

I talked two weeks ago about several repair tasks I needed to get done around the house. Some had been on my list for a while, some only recently. All were minor and easily procrastinatable. (Yes, I made that word up. I like it, though, and predict you’ll see it often from now on.) As a result, I’ve procrastinated every last one of them until I get the appropriate motivation to set my real work aside and get to these mundane fix-it chores.

Motivation can come to us in many ways. For woodworkers, the desire to create is a tremendous motivator. So, too, is the yearning to improve skills. Challenges of the design process, the wish to make something no one else has, the opportunity to work with materials you’ve never used before, even something as simple as wanting to make a perfect gift for a loved one – all of these drive the motivation woodworkers thrive on.

Sometimes, though, it’s something a lot more basic.

Like, for example, the increasingly vehement threats from neighbors that they’ll resort to violence if I don't get out there and make my yard look a bit less like a dump.

Yeah, that’s a good motivation, too.



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