how to shrink your focus.

On Monday, I sat down with what I considered such ripe writing fruit. Creativity. Friends, I had this huge-fantastic-neat Creativity Week planned out. Mind maps, calendars, fun headlines, the works.

But when I sat down to write . . . nothing. 

And the irony! It’s creativity, Sarah. So where’s my creativity?

I lost the creativity in the gargantuan-ness of it all. I got overwhelmed.

(Tell me you’ve been there too?)

Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird is the real Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul. (She’s hilarious and loving and challenging and comforting all at once.)

When the writing gets overwhelming, she suggests shrinking the focus. On her desk is a picture frame that’s exactly one inch by one inch, and it reminds her to keep things small.

After reading, I made my own version.


This wisdom permeates past writing and into creativity as a whole. When we simply don’t feel like building, when we resent our passion, when we fumble through the progress . . . it’s time to think a little smaller. 

Creativity isn’t so much what we do and the size of what we do. Creativity is how.

Creativity is how we do things, how we build things, how we paint, how we write, how we calculate, how we cook, how we love, how we decorate, how we converse, how we connect.

Dreaming big and creating big is beautiful and necessary and makes this world! And yet, to accomplish what’s big, we sometimes need to start small. No shame in that.


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