A few weeks ago, I had a moment (several, actually) of despair.
Despair about everything that’s going on in the world. Despair because I had created some things I thought were really cool, but nobody wanted. Despair because I was honestly struggling to think of reasons for people to write books right now.
After all, it’s not exactly a “must do” business activity, right?
It’s not accounting software or legal services or compulsory industry qualifications.
It’s not gonna directly and immediately make you more money.
And talking about it that way, as a business benefit, made me feel… disingenous. Icky.
I had a vague plan to create a short course in January. Maybe a programme where people could start their books, and do it in 60 days, and they’d be off and writing.
But then I had a conversation with a good buddy of mine, and she told me to do it now. Right now. And make it even tinier.
Instead of a short book — a MicroBook.
Three days after that conversation, MicroBook Magic was born, and it grew out of a realisation I had: it’s not always about producing something that can help us grow our businesses (although that’s cool, of course).
I stopped focusing on all the business reasons to write a book and instead tapped into something I’d been missing myself: JOY.
I talked about the magic of books, and writing, and creating something from scratch. I talked about how it doesn’t have to be So Serious + Huge All The Time.
And 11 people joined me.
All these MicroBooks being written right now will be wonderful tools for the authors who are creating them, but the feedback I’m getting?
Is about how much they’re loving this process.
How this has gifted them space and time and permission to create something they really wanted to create, without it taking over their entire lives.
And this makes me so incredibly happy because more than anything, I wanted my MicroBookers to tap into their creative joy and really enjoy the writing adventure we’re going on together.
I wanted to create the smallest possible thing, the tiniest book, the book that breaks the rules, because I’m fed up of always following The Rules.
I’m fed up of wondering if I’ve been productive enough today to satisfy the machinery of industry and capitalism.
And I’m fed up of systems that are set up to break us down and make us tired.
MicroBook Magic was a small way of breaking out of that, of doing something because we love it, because we want to, and because it allows us to create, and write, and tell a story that wants to be told.
It’s inspired me to write again too.
It’s inspired me to play, to write a silly poem when I got stuck with an MA assignment. To give myself permission to play games and be daft, and write something that may well be terrible, because that’s what creativity is.
And that is where joy comes from!
Because, as one of my MicroBookers is writing about, perfectionism is the enemy of joy, and writing should be joyful. Not all the time, granted; nothing can be joyful all the time.
But right now we could all use a little more joy, and fun, and space to do something just for ourselves, just because we want to.
Not because it will be useful or profitable or productive, necessarily.
But for the sheer joy of it.
What are you creating today, for no other reason than you want to?
Now enrolling for MicroBook Magic: January! Start 2023 with a bang — come and write a nonfiction MicroBook with me, and actually FINISH and PUBLISH it before Valentine’s Day.
Notes in the Margin
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