Write What You Know, Except When You Don’t

I’ve never made a claim to be a sublimation expert.  I’ve sublimated exactly one thing in my life,  and that was a ceramic tile.  It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself,  but I don’t consider my one success as qualification for the title of expert.   At best I’m a dilettante.   I know a reasonable amount about the craft and practice of sublimation because I listen and I ask questions.   Where I’ve been very lucky is in the fact that I have experts with whom I work who patiently, some of the time at least, answer my questions about what and how and why.  After I’ve gotten my answers I bring them here and share them with you.

One of the oldest adages in writing is “write what you know”.   In my case,  particularly since I started writing for EnMart,  that’s the last thing I’ve been doing.  When EnMart began, what I knew about thread, machine embroidery, bobbins,  sublimation, ChromaBlast and the other supplies and disciplines that EnMart encompasses wasn’t enough to write more than one or two blog posts at best.   Since the first post I wrote my job has been a combination of archeologist and town crier.  First I go dig up the nuggets of information and knowledge I need.  Then I come here or to EnMart’s other blog,  EmbroideryTalk,  and share what I’ve learned.

If you wonder where I’m going with this, I’m mainly trying to reinforce what I said in yesterday’s post,  which was about educating yourself so you can then educate your customers.   When you’re first starting out,  machine embroidery or sublimation can seem overwhelming.  There’s so much to learn and remember and it can seem like you’ll never know what you’re talking about,  or how to answer even the simplest question.  If, however,  you take the time to ask questions of others who have more experience,   to practice your craft,  and seize every opportunity to learn more,  eventually you get comfortable with the techniques and procedures,  and you’re able to answer questions and make suggestions easily.

What seems overwhelming is only that way if you let it be that way.  There are tons of resources out there,  websites like Sawgrass Ink’s site,  forums like the Apparel Decorator’s Forum and T-shirt Forums,  and blogs like this one,  not to mention the many experts who offer seminars at trade shows and do webinars and video classes.   The information is out there,  but it’s up to you to go and find it and spend the time absorbing it.  If you do that,  you’ll soon find that the stuff that you didn’t know has become the stuff that you do know,  and your business and your customers will both benefit.