If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that one of my favourite mantras is Little and Often. Working a little and on a regular basis is the way I manage to slowly create a body of work, inspite of sometimes being very limited in terms of energy.
In this blog post I want to concentrate on the little half of the little and often mantra and talk about the idea of micro working. You may already know that I regularly record a microPodcast, and also send out an email newsletter every couple of weeks which I call a microMagazine. The “micro” preface in both cases was a very conscious decision and is something I like very much.
Micro work is usually possible even on a bad day
The idea of micro working, perhaps making a small drawing, recording a five minute podcast, or writing a few hundred words, hardly ever feels too daunting. It is something I can usually manage even on a bad day.
There was a time that a microdrawing or two hundred words written towards a blog post or a chapter of a book would have felt like a defeat. But these days I think that ever micro achievement is worthy of a celebration (a microCelebration perhaps!). I can see that each of these micro achievements can both stand alone or build up into something larger.
The Magic of the VERY small
This is one of the most important and exciting things about working on micro work, the magic of the VERY small. Every piece of work can stand alone, but also when stitched together can often make larger and significant pieces of work. Gradually I’ve learnt that for me this is a perfect way of working. Regular drawings, for instance can illustrate individual blog posts, but over time can be stitched together into my illustrated journal, The Beany. Regular microPodcasts slowly build up into an archive of audio content, that provides a resource for anyone interested in the idea of sustainable creativity, nda perhaps can also be remixed into larger pieces to be given away with future ebooks, etc. I’m sure you get the idea.
Moreover, the relative ease of producing these micro pieces of work means that a body of work grows quite quickly. Seeing the increasing back issues of my microMag, or the 500 plus posts I’ve written for my blog provides a great boost, positive reinforcement that I am able, even with my energy limits, to create a significant body of work.
What micro work could you do today? And what could you stitch it together to make?