Looking Back on 2021: Author Update from Harma-Mae Smit

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, it’s not exactly true, but if there’s something you’re passionate about and you can channel your creativity towards that, then you are really making the most of your time. It’s work, yes, but you also get to explore what you love. Over the past year, I had two different projects that really hit the sweet spot between my interests and opportunities to write, and so I thought I’d share them with you here.

Besides writing, I have strong interests in both history and theology. And in 2021, I accomplished two projects, one that exercised my historical research skills, and one that required my knowledge of theology and faith. (I completed a few other projects as well, including another ebook and a monthly newsletter, but these are the two “passions” I thought I would highlight for you today.)

History: Sam the Shoemaker

Many years ago, I wrote about why a history degree was a useful education for a writer to pursue. I still agree with that, and this piece from this year is further evidence!

For this piece, I got to flex my historical research muscles. I also got to interview my dad as part of the process of investigation.

This was a local history piece I did for Edmonton City as Museum Project, about the neighbourhood shoemaker that I always used to hear stories about growing up. I don’t know why, but the art of shoemaking always interested me. It’s a skill that’s fading away to some extent, as most shoes are mass-produced and not repaired, and yet shoemaking is a useful skill that can really keep your shoes looking beautiful for a long time. I wanted to know more about shoemakers in Edmonton, and the shoemaker that my dad knew when he was growing up in particular. And so I wrote this!

Sam the Shoemaker, by Harma-Mae Smit, Parkallen

Theology: Christians and Fast Fashion

The theology project I worked on this year was a two-part article for Ad Fontes Journal (website) about fashion and theology. I have always loved fashion, and because I believe theology can touch on every area of our life, I thought it must be possible to write about theology and fashion together. The angle I took was to look at the waste of fast fashion more closely, and see if there were theological reasons to value well-made, beautiful clothes. The obvious reasons to be against fast fashion are the effect of fast fashion on the industry workers, and the effect of fast fashion on the environment. But I thought these two critiques were missing something. I thought there should be reason to value excellence in clothing whether or not there were ethical issues—the cheap and transitory nature of fast fashion wasn’t something to be celebrated from a theological perspective either. So I wrote about that.

You can find the two articles below:

Christians and Fast Fashion Pt. 1: More Than Ethics

Christians and Fast Fashion Pt. 2: Pursuing Virtue Through Dress

Well, there you have it! Those are some of the things I worked on in 2021.I’m always surprised at how opportunities come up to integrate my writing and my other passion in life, and I’m excited to see what ideas might come together next. What are you excited about in 2022? Take a moment to comment below!

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