Monday, October 3, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday: Micro Projects!

It seems to be a common theme among creative types that we have more ideas than we have time to actually put them into practice. In the past, I suggested prioritizing them in terms of how exciting they are and how easily we can get them done. Well, today I'd like to explore another way to tick off the items on our creative to-do lists, and that's micro projects.

What's a micro project? It's a smaller, more manageable version of the original project, and one we can complete in just a fraction of the time. Think of it as a regular project, distilled down to the very best parts.

For instance, I've always loved the idea of having my own jewelry store. Not just an online store, but one of the brick and mortar variety. I know that setting up such a store would take a huge commitment, in terms of money and time and energy. Frankly, it would take more of those things than I have!

Which is why I made myself a portable store, also known as my Showoff Box. It's a small metal box that I decorated with plastic rhinestones, and which I've filled with jewelry samples, business cards, and sample kits. I bring it with me wherever I go -- that is to say, wherever it's appropriate -- and I use it to show off my latest projects. Experience has taught me to be prepared, so I have everything I need to make a sale, just in case. Honestly, I'm thrilled right down to the roots of my pretty curly hair every time I lift the latch on that box.

(And here's the box! Rhinestones and box from Michaels.)

The little store doesn't need sweeping. I don't have to pay rent for it. I don't have to hire employees, and I don't have to worry about giving people directions on how to get there -- something I'm notoriously bad at. It's all the fun, none of the fuss, and just the right size to carry around. A truly micro project.

So that's my advice to you. Turn some of your larger projects into micro projects. Have a book idea that's distracting you from your current writing project? Just write the best scenes, or turn it into a short story. Want to make art quilts? Make itty bitty ones. Always dreamed of making a wire replica of Liberace? OK, actually, I want to see the life-sized version, but if you're pressed for time, make a tiny one and turn it into a pendant. And then send pictures. I promise you, you'll feel better for having tackled a creative project and doing so in a time-conscious way. :)

Do you have an idea for a micro project? Do you need help distilling a larger idea? Please, share!

Thanks, and have a sequintastic day. :)

Edit: here's the interior of the box!


  1. Wow - I've never thought about ShowOff Box before. That's a great idea.

    Do tell how it goes! I'm gonna be doing handbags - so I'll start carrying around my own handbags and will be sharing business cards for people and taking their email address if they're interested. Not started yet, but hopefully soon!

  2. Love that idea about a showoff box! I'm off to mention it on Facebook and Twitter!

  3. Starlet --

    Welcome, and thanks! I was so excited when I had the idea, I wanted to rush right out and buy the supplies... and it was probably midnight. ;)

    Carrying around your handbags is a great idea! In my experience, it's a wonderful way to bring attention to your work. It's like you're providing your own free advertising.

  4. Pearl --

    I'm glad you liked it! I have to say, I'm especially proud of that idea.

    Thanks so much for sharing this post! It means a lot to me when people enjoy my posts enough to show them to others. :) I hope there will be lots of Showoff Boxes in the jewelry community.

  5. Lovely misc monday post - do you have pictures of your show off box? Would love to see xxx

  6. I just added the picture to this post today. :)

  7. I wonder...for a micro project for writing...I wonder if it would be more like just telling yourself to finish a chapter or a particular scene...I am going to think more on this, because I suspect that for me I have to make it even MORE micro than that to motivate me on a given day! ;D

  8. It could be that! Maybe you could treat every writing day as a "flash fiction" day, where you only write 200 words or something.

    I've been so behind in my fiction writing. Haven't touched it in months! So I know what you mean about motivation.


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