Today’s post is written by Beverly Army Williams. She and I met in Albuquerque several years ago, and then she moved back to Connecticut (sigh). Her blog PoMoGolightly chronicles her passion for words, crafts, and fibers. There will be a pop quiz next week when I return from my niece’s benefit–hope to see some of you there. When I get back, I plan to dish on my first months of blogging. Until then, enjoy!
I’ve been drafting and revising my novel for at least five years. I’m committed to the story, to the characters, to the need for this thing to exist in the world. But, as Phil Cody sings, I’m a big slow mover. However long it takes to write it, well, that’s what I’ll give to the story. I’m not in a rush. Not yet.
As I wend my way through revision after revision, I crave completion. That’s where the mini-project comes in. Just like I sometimes need a break from living in the woods (hello, NYC!) or from my usual workouts (nice to play with you, hoola hoop!), a mini-project gives me a chance to refresh and reinvigorate. What do mini-projects look like?
- A three-month daily self-portrait photography project
- A 50,000 word writing spree in one month
- A week-long watercolor exploration
On the surface, the mini-project may seem counterproductive. Bookbinder, fiber artist, and all-around crafter Stacie Dolin reflects on one of her recent mini-projects: “It was nice to take a break and step away from the larger project. I could clear my head a bit and think through the issues on the larger project better.”
Writer, visual artist, and teacher Joyce Hayden incorporates her version of a mini-project into her bigger project: “I work on a painting for 20 minutes before my novel revision sessions. It gets my thinking going in another direction, and it’s a positive balance to some of the harder stuff I’m writing in the novel. Miniwork, side-work, has been useful as a meditiation in itself, and as a way to prepare for the larger work and in the process slowly accomplish another endeavor.”
How have mini-projects brought you joy and satisfaction?