Creativity Pip's School For Slumpy Creatives

Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives: Lesson Seven

Tiny Changes

It’s easy to stand back and look at the BIG PICTURE and think that it’s too huge, that we’re never going to get there, that it’s just a dream. But probably that’s not true.


Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives : Lesson One
Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives: Lesson Two
Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives: Lesson Three

Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives: Lesson Four
Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives: Lesson Five
Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives: Lesson Six


In Anne Lamott’s fabulous book  ‘Bird By Bird. Instructions On Writing And Life‘ she recounts the story of a seemingly insurmountable report that was tackled bit by bit, Bird by Bird, until complete. (Okay, a report is hardly a dream, but try telling that to someone who is starting with nothing at the eleventh hour and needs to get it done!)

‘Bird By Bird’ is more proof of something we already know, showing up, having a crack and taking small steps (bird by bird) can result in big gains, shifts or wins.

The main thing is to get started.

Creativity, making things, living imaginatively and freely can be tackled from this perspective too. I recommend it, in fact, because if you’re trying to make a HUGE change quickly it’s probably not going to happen.

What we ACTUALLY want are achievable and sustainable shifts, manageable and steady movement. Even if we have to do this bird by bird, slowly and steadily. Even if those birds are the tiniest birds you’ve ever seen. Just wispy feathers even? You have to start somewhere…

We’ve spoken about ways to grab creative time here before.

Getting up early or changing our priorities or locking in ‘me time’ were flagged as great ways to grab time, but things don’t always go according to plan. Maybe this time grabbing is not working out for you? Perhaps you’ve been following along and thinking ‘Oh shit! I’m just not able to MAKE that time!’

If you’re finding that too hard, if life is getting in the way, you’re just too tired or the Universe is rudely conspiring against you, then all is not lost.  Perhaps thinking about a tiny change approach might be helpful to you.

What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.
Maya Angelou

Think smaller.

Scale expectations down a little and see if there’s a nice flow-on effect in terms of calm, happiness or clarity.

Here’s some examples of tiny changes that might pay big dividends for you…

Perhaps taking the time to read something you LOVE instead of looking on Facebook while you drink your coffee in the morning? It’s a small thing, but it will boost your happiness and creativity.

How about listening to an audiobook on the way to work instead of checking in on social media or being perturbed by the too-close-for-comfort commuter next to you? Small, but good.

Slow down your morning cup of tea with a special cup, a nice tray, a pretty napkin, a flower alongside it all. Sit with yourself for a few minutes and let your mind wander.

Maybe NOT listening to anything as you walk on your errands, instead looking at the colours and shapes of your neighbourhood? This seems like a small thing, but it will improve all kinds of things like mood, observational powers, artistic eye, imaginative thinking…

Walk to work a different way.

Look at the packages in the supermarket as you shop and take note of the colours and fonts that you like.

Turn OFF the commercial radio that grates on you 50% of the time and turn on that Tunes from the WW2 era type station that makes you dance around the kitchen.

Sit in the park for 5 minutes and notice everyone who walks by, what they are wearing, how they seem.

Plant some herbs instead of buying them.

Spend the half an hour you might have spent tidying up watching a documentary. Then speed clean! Or clean tomorrow!

Handwrite a letter to someone instead of emailing or Facebook messaging.

I am sure you have some other good ideas. What kinds of small changes make sense to you?

Basically you want to do things differently either to prioritise yourself a little more OR to change the habitual way you think and feel (and hopefully release some new ideas, makings and musings!)

Make a list of TINY changes that will benefit you creatively (and in terms of general wellbeing.)


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  • Loretta
    October 11, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    BTW, have you watched “Raised by Wolves” on SBS catchup TV? Absolutely hilarious, and I think it would be right up your alley:-)

  • Loretta
    October 11, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    You are an absolutely wonderful creative inspiration Pip! I can’t believe you keep coming up with all these gems after so many years of blogging. I am going to print all these lessons out as a constant reminder. Thank you.
    Loretta xx

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