It can be easy to forget that at one point we were all new to one hobby or another.
That said, once you’re deep inside a fold, it can definitely be tempting to judge others who are just wandering in.
These hobbyists share the ways they can tell someone is brand new – and kind of give you the tips on how to avoid making the newb mistakes if you can.
1. You have to care for your pets.
I have a hobby goat farm. I say hobby because I got them all as babies, so they’re just money pits at the moment (all about 8 months old right now).
In the meantime, I’ve damn near made a career out of clipping hooves for other people who got a ton of goats and didn’t know that they required hoof maintenance. The poor things are usually in a lot of pain by the time I get to them.
Research your animals, people.
2. Just let it be.
Underbaking bread because they’re afraid to burn it. It won’t burn that fast! Just leave it in the oven!
ETA: I just want to say, for all the droves of people saying “undercooked is better than burnt”: the window between undercooked and burnt, with bread, is vast. If you like raw dough, sure, good on you, but bread doesn’t go from undercooked to burnt in a split second the way other things do.
If your bread is still pale on the outside, you can leave it in for at least another 10-15 minutes without it being “burnt”, and that’s being really conservative with my timings.
3. Heavy sigh.
Them: I got a mic. I’m just going to do it on the side. Make some extra money.
Me: Okay, do you want to do ads or something?
Them: No, I want to voice anime and cartoons.
PSA: Want to make money at voice-over? Do ads. Want to voice animation? Get an agent and good luck.
4. For free, of course.
“I have a great idea for a new board game. I have never made a board game before. It’s like a combination of Monopoly and Risk but I don’t want to give more details because I don’t want someone to steal my idea. Can anyone make art for my Kickstarter? I’ll give you credit!”
5. Not if you want to wear it.
Bulk acrylic yarn. It’s cheap and great for practise, but you quickly learn that it’s not particularly comfortable.
6. Be careful what you wish for.
If they’re thinking about making a small business based around a crafting hobby. I tend to see a lot of people begin talking about making a small business out of hobbies they haven’t even started yet, or are very early into it.
I love knitting. It’s one of my favourite things to do. I would not do it for money. The amount of effort I would have to put in would not make it fun anymore. I posted a pair of socks I’d made for myself the other day, and one of my friends said “You should make those to sell!” which sounds great until you find out that it took $50 of premium yarn and 40 hours of my time to make a single pair.
7. Keep it simple at first.
They want to make incredibly overly complicated recipes, OR they want to 100% exactly replicate one of the best beers in the world.
They’re almost paralyzed by fear of infection/contamination.
8. Don’t do this.
They google “the best…” and then they try to explain to you why that manufactured product listed in half of the links from the first google search results page is “the best.”
9. First drafts are always crap.
They ask one of the 10 or so questions that get posted almost daily to r/writing, or they just assume they know everything already and their first draft is brilliant and won’t hear anything to the contrary.
Nine times out of ten, “Could you critique my writing?” = “Tell me I’m talented and special!”
10. Things you never know until you do it.
They don’t thin their paints, or put them on the miniature in one thick coat.
Or they finish paining a price and dump wash on it without caring where it ends up.
11. Start with the nails.
Blacksmithing: “I’ve never forged anything, but I found some great spring steel so I’m going to make a sword. What else do I need?”
Ummmm…. First you need to forge 200 nails so you can learn proper hammer swings. After that you’re ready to make a bottle opener.
12. What’s the answer?
brand new guy asking a bunch of addicted gamers “hey should I buy this $100 pack”?
13. The dream that dies quickly.
They talk about turning the hobby into a business.
14. There’s still work to do.
I’m still quite a beginner myself but some will just go: “How do you create this scene?” and show really complicated compositions with countless models and complicated materials that an artist must have spent weeks on.
Some of them feel like downloading the software is already most of the work done. But this probably goes for most digital artforms.
15. It happens to the best of us.
“First project! I’m making a baby blanket!” Crochet. And I can say this because I did this as well. It takes much longer than it seems like it should to make a blanket*.
I’ve been crocheting for close to 20 years now and I still suck at finishing baby blankets, haha! Hoard yarn and start 12 WIPs that I rotate through as one bores me? Heck yes.
16. It’s more than fish.
People buy fish the same day they buy their tank.
Unfortunately, to start a fish aquarium, you need to cycle your tank (grow bacteria that will eat the poison ammonia that fish poop causes and turn it into nitrate). This is best done without fish and can take a few weeks to a month or more. However, most people come into the hobby saying “I have a fish! Now what?” … 🙁
You learn that fish keeping is more about maintaining water that fish just happen to live in. It’s a lot like learning chemistry more than just feeding fish.
17. Every single time.
“Hi guys, I’m looking to buy a CNC router. My requirements:
I want to cut aluminum, steel, titanium, and unobtanium
I’m looking for precision within .001mm at least, but .0001mm would be better
I need a bed at least 1m by 2m, but 2m by 4m would be better
Automatic tool changing is a plus, but not strictly required
My budget is $1000. Which machine would be best for me?
18. Don’t be like that.
I feel like the person with 10 minutes of experience is always a dick to the person with 5 minutes of experience, while the experts are helpful or exhausted from being helpful.
19. You can only fix one of those.
Climbing: no calluses on the hands.
Pool: shooting too hard for every shot.
20. Way too much for one post.
Frequent post on r/musicproduction:
Hi everyone! I’m new to all this and I have zero experience making music. Never had any kind of lessons and I’ve never touched a keyboard and really all I’ve ever done with music is bob my head along with it in my car.
I’ve never heard of music theory and I’m not really interested in it. So I bought a MacBook Pro and Ableton 11 and the best interfaces and microphones and midi keyboards I could afford.
I’m going to make sick beats and change the music industry. How do I get started?
21. It’s nice to see.
Pure, unadulterated excitement at the smallest thing. Not that I’m saying it’s a bad thing, more that it’s lovely to see.
Edit: – wow guys, I truly never expected this comment to explode. It’s been great reading all of your responses of how my comment applied to your lives and some of the stories are truly inspiring. Thanks for the upvotes and awards, my karma has gone through the roof! ❤️
22. Not the first step.
They buy super expensive equipment before they know how to use it.
It’s always either this, or they go against everyone else’s advice and buy the cheapest option and end up upgrading anyways almost immediately.
23. Not asking the right questions.
If they ask how to swap an engine into their car or how to turbo their car, it’s a sure sign that they’re new to working on cars. The questions aren’t necessarily bad, but there’s so much work involved in the answer that those questions are way too vague. They’re trying to get in way over their head if they don’t have the basics figured out before hand.
Ditto on people asking how they can add a lot of power to a base model Mustang or Camaro. There’s nothing wrong with the base model, but there’s a good reason that the answer is usually “sell it and buy the V8”.
You’d spend just as much money modding the V6 or turbo 4, and wind up with a vehicle that has maybe the same power output as the V8 at best, but significantly worse reliability. If you’re trying to make power, your money very often is best spent starting off with the model that has the better engine.
24. You have to follow directions.
When they ask for help in baking something and I tell them they can’t put those combinations together because that’s the chemistry of baking, you need to follow the recipe and or the basic rules of baking.
Don’t expect something nice to come out if you don’t know your ratios for baking properly.
An example would be: a friend that asked if they could make lemon curd cookies, by using their leftover curd and putting flour in it and baking it. I said please don’t do that because x y a.
Guess what, they did it and made cement lemon flavored “cookies.”
25. No middle ground.
New hikers do one of two things. They either load themselves down with 100 pounds of gear they will never use or they think they can survive a week long hike with nothing but a granola bar and a Walmart pocket knife.
26. It just has to function.
Bullet journaling.. I see a lot of newbies get stressed tf out because their pages aren’t artistic and amazing like all of the ones you see on Instagram or r/bulletjournal.
People forget it can be minimalist and still function well… it’s whatever you make it. No need to live up to anyone else’s standard.
27. It takes practice.
I’ll add camping – people bring next to nothing gear wise and think they hate camping. Of course you do! You’re uncomfortable and didn’t bring things to do. You don’t win anything by doing everything bare-bones.
People will go camping for a week and bring a bunch of shit to survive an apocalypse but don’t do anything for comfort. Meanwhile, my ass vacuum seals a goddamn body pillow and comforter, a solar charger for my kindle, and (one time) a coloring book and markers.
I always try to get people new to camping to realize it’s just “advanced sleeping”, you aren’t starting a new civilization from scratch.
28. That’s not a thing.
They always ask, “So who are the good guys?”
And then are shocked when I tell them that there are no good guys in the 41st Millennium.
29. Talk less, smile more.
talking too much to prove what they know.
I have been very guilty of this. someone who is experienced and skilled at a given activity will tend to just shut up and do it, whatever the activity may be
30. The wrong yarn.
Wrong needles for the size yarn they’re using.
Buying yarn because it was pretty/soft/on sale and trying to match it to a project instead of choosing a project and buying the yarn with intent in mind. Since you guys seem fixated on this one in particular, I’m talking about people who buy shitty worsted weight acrylic on sale because “omg the color!” and then don’t understand why it won’t work for that beautiful lace shawl they saw on Rav. Or making a baby blanket out of a yarn that can’t be machine washed/dried. Or buying cotton yarn for a project that needs some stretchiness to it. Beginners rarely understand how the different fabric types and yarn sizes make a huge difference in end result, so there’s a massive difference between an experienced knitter who understands how to use their stash and a beginner who buys whatever and tries to shoehorn it into an unrelated pattern.
“How many skeins/yards of yarn do I need to knit a blanket?”
31. A classic.
“My character is a drow rogue. They are chaotic neutral and stick to the shadows”
I remember when I played my first dnd campaign. Everyone was unexperienced so most of us went with a really standard character. One friend had a dragonborn, outcast chief of his tribe. His mission was to get back to his tribe, form an army by befriending other tribes then win the upcoming war.
I swear to god he was more evil than the big bad evil guy. My character was like twice his size and could snap his neck just by looking at him(and he feared me lol) so sometimes I drifted him to the right direction but I never forget when he abandoned a lost little girl or when he found a bunch of dragonborns who needed help.
F irst he just wanted to kill them and when we convinced him that they would be helpful in the future he put them in a cave somewhere and forgot about them. He is “true neutral”
32. It’s called practice for a reason.
“I tried it but my mind kept wandering off.”
Our minds do that. That’s why we practice meditation – to discipline our minds to stay with the here and now.
This is all great advice on things to avoid, don’t you think?
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