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Today I listened to a fascinating podcast called The Meaning Of Work, from the TED Radio Hour.
One of the contributors to the show was author Margaret Heffernan, talking about her observations on workplace motivations. Her argument is that whilst food, fear or money may work well as short term incentives humans give more, and for longer if they feel part of a prosperous community.
You can read more on this in her book A Bigger Prize.
As a small independent dyer I often reflect on how these theories of the workplace apply to me. Living and working rurally means that I don't see this community face to face very often, and this year the yarn fairs and festivals where we might cross paths have been cancelled. There are days, particularly at the moment, when I struggle to feel motivated and I wonder how my work can be meaningful.
So one of the helpful thoughts from this podcast was to step back and remind myself that I'm not just an individual maker, but part of the wider creative community. That had also been the seed of inspiration 2 years ago when I started working on my book The Highland Yarn Guide.
The guide was originally written for people planning touring holidays around the Scottish Highlands and hoping to visit yarn shops and makers along the way. Today I'm delighted to see it is being used to promote online shopping, virtual tours and dream road trip planning. It's interesting how you create something with one use in mind and our imaginative, creative, innovative human brains transform it into something else.