I'm teaching my husband, an engineer, how to cross stitch.
I'll admit that I'm not the most patient teacher, especially with people I know. But I am also confident that my husband is not the most patient pupil.
If you know any engineers, you'll know that most engineers think and act precisely. Why? Because, as my husband likes to remind me, when you aren't precise, people could die: airplanes can crash, bridges could buckle, our power grid could fail, medical devices could cause harm. Yeah, my husband is a very up-beat and positive person, right?
Now take that need for precision and bring it to our world of cross stitching. Sure, what we do, in most cases, follows a pattern so you'd think that would be great for someone who craves precision.
Not my husband.
I'm from the "it's art, so do what feels right" school of creativity, including cross stitch. As a student, my husband wants to know what to do, step-by-step, and doesn't want to hear any variations on the "right" way to do it.
I see similar approaches to stitching in many of the cross stitching (and general crafting) groups I belong to on Facebook. Regardless of the poster's level of stitching expertise, there is often a question of finding the "right way." It doesn't matter if it's about where to start your pattern, or the technique to start (or end) your stitches, or how to wash your finished project (if at all): stitchers are seeking THE answer.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but there isn't one correct way to do anything. There are best practices, but not clear right or wrong.
Cross stitching is your art, so don't let anyone dictate how you practice your art. Take chances. Make mistakes (and don't frog them). Sometimes your experiments will work out but, to be honest, sometimes it won't look the way you envisioned, but you may learn a new technique that you can try when stitching something else or be able to decipher where you went wrong.
Start your pattern wherever you want. Mix up the direction of your stitches for added texture. Swap out French knots for beads. Knot your thread. Never wash your fabric. Don't bother framing your finished projects. The world is at your fingertips and no one can tell you what to do.
Sure, ask for advice on the fabric you choose for a pattern, or whether you should backstitch or not, but don't let the posts you see in your stitching communities or the people who comment on your work make you question your decisions about your own projects. Heck, you may even find more people who approach stitching the way you do and build an entirely new community of like-minded, adventurous stitchers.