As a child, being “not crafty” is never an option. I remember working with papier-mâché in elementary school and stamping my initials into leather at 4-H camp. I did exactly what the teacher said without ever coming up with creative ways to add to what I was doing.
Then I started middle school home economics class. It was the 80s, so we were still learning how to sew, and I hated every minute of it. I created some horrid 80s-style lavender shorts suit that looked a lot like the dress Jake Ryan’s girlfriend wore to the party in Sixteen Candles. I remember my icky creation every time I see that movie.
Soon after, I made a stuffed animal called Madigan. It was a cuddly dog that I loved. But I only made it through the sewing process because I followed the instructions to the letter. Hugging Madigan always made me feel better, since I didn’t have a real dog to hug.
Once I discovered I could write, I felt as though I’d been set free. I always felt like a creative person, but it didn’t fit with anything else I tried. I couldn’t dance, sing, act, paint, draw, or build things. I could put words on paper, though, and from time to time I even managed to move people with those words.
Would I like to be crafty? Sure. But in an Etsy era, I can just purchase the great crafts everyone else sells and support them. They can keep making their crafts and I can set them out around the house and hand their business cards out when people compliment them.
Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of the middle grade books 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, as well as the Piper Morgan chapter book series. Her freelance work has appeared on NYPost.com, Mental Floss, The Week, and Your Teen magazine.