As someone who works in creative for a living, I am extremely apprehensive about making mistakes with creative projects. I have seen experienced ad writers totally bomb, resulting in the loss of lucrative contracts. I have seen graphic designers create web sites that had to be completely redesigned. I have seen financial service companies call up the financial printing company I worked for ranting about proofreading errors (not mine) in their reports. Creative work, including home and garden projects, has a huge margin of error.
Though there is a small wave of bloggers like Sonja Faust of Pintester.com who seem to even be making a living off of their crafting and cooking failures, the home improvement and gardening blog-o-sphere can look like a realm of perfection, where only the best survive. If you’re anything like me, you look at home and garden projects on the Web and think, “That would take me forever, and I would screw it up.”
Still, though, I think there might be hope yet for me. I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time lurking around Hometalk.com, a social network all about home & garden projects (“Hometalk is where people share and help with everything home and garden,” is their tagline.).
Lurking around Hometalk.com has given me a small boost of DIY and home improvement motivation. It appears that there actually are people out there who have skills, who will help you for free with your own projects. Hometalk.com seems to be full of those people. Many are nice people from the Midwest, but there are strong urban East Coast and West Coast contingents as well.
It seems like Hometalk, by putting the “talk” into home and garden projects, is taking some of the potential for failure out. For instance, things like this seem to be happening on Hometalk.com all the time: Tiffany Hall from Fenton, MO asked, “We are going to start a basement renovation this summer, but if I'm going to do it I want it done RIGHT. So tell me... where do we begin because I am overwhelmed with the thought of it. Our basement is probably 1,500 sq ft and I already have a wish list... Office/Scrapbooking room, Playroom/Lounge Area, Dance/Exercise Room, Bathroom, etc. The bathroom is roughed-in, but other than that it's just concrete floors and walls. Should I get a Designer/Architect to make the most of the space I want to create and get the decor I want? If I do that is it going to cost an outrageous amount? Any and all advice is much appreciated!”