When starting a passion project we have a tendency to think that we must create the biggest and most epic project for it to be a success. We stress out thinking that the bigger our project is the more likely it will get noticed. We then start to question why we should even start our passion project because if it were really important then someone more famous would have done it already. We have something in our mind but we don’t know where to start. We don’t even know what to write down.
One step at a time. The best and quickest way to start is to always have the Minimum Effective Dose in mind.
Minimum Effective Dose is the smallest input needed to produce a desired outcome. For example, if you want to boil water, the MED is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing the temperature above 212 degrees will not produce a better result, it will just waste resources.
Don’t waste time with the extras. What is the smallest part of the project that you could accomplish and say it was a success? Let’s say you want to capture the perspective of a child during his first birthday from different religious perspectives. Although capturing 15 different perspectives would certainly be interesting you may want to focus on the three most popular religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
To add more emotional appeal you may want to include video but you don’t have a videographer who is willing to offer their services for free. Instead of trying to create a documentary what about asking each parent three questions that they can answer in 3 minutes? You could simply use the video camera on your phone.
So go ahead and write down everything that you would like to have in your project and then look at your list and ask yourself, “What can I take away and the project still be a success?” Once you have the minimum effective dose I think that you’ll find less stress and an easier time starting and finishing.