Gettin’ Scrappy!

I’m going to figure this out!

It’s that time of week again and I’ve got a question for you.

Ever felt like everything was going against you – like the universe knows what you want to accomplish but it seems to put every obstacle known to man in front of you?

It’s like some cruel joke to see just how long you’ll keep trying!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes what life throws at me just seems like a chapter from Mean Girls! Let’s see what you’re made of, Virginia!

It’s easy to get caught up in the “enough is enough” self-talk.

Trust me when I say – I KNOW WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE!

You too?

Well, have I got a goodie for you! It’s one of my favorite tactics and it turns out to be a lot of fun!

It’s called Gettin’ Scrappy!

SCRAPPY \’skra-pe\ adj: Full of fighting spirit—synonymous with having moxie, being feisty, enthusiastic, gutsy, lively, spunky;

It is:

having or showing spirit and determination, especially in spite of obstacles.


We all have hopes and dreams for our creativity, but as the old saying goes,

A dream without action is just a wish!

Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves, get your hands a little dirty, and start gettin’ a little scrappy. And what better time to kick it into high gear than the present? There are only a few short months left of the year. Let’s make ‘em count!

Sure, it sounds a little scary, but you’ve got this! You and me – together! And honestly, I find getting scrappy to be fun, amusing, and downright hilarious at times!

Scrappy people face challenges head on! We tend to find unexpected paths to surprising results. We move forward even in the face of obstacles, using creativity and clever workarounds. And by clever, I sometimes mean a bit odd and unconventional, but they work! We aren’t just lucky. We’re hardworking, a little crazy, everyday people!

  • Like the person who finds a way to fashion a huge worktable out of left-over cinderblocks and scrap lumber, so she doesn’t have to crawl around on the floor to work on large projects. Why? Because the new REAL tables for that purpose are typically a $1,000 obstacle!
  • Like the person who uses the best camera on her phone attached to a long stick but uses a can of beans inside a plastic grocery bag to counterbalance the pole, so it doesn’t fall over in the middle of a recording. Why? Because the set-up was needed IN-A-HURRY and to assemble all the pro-video equipment would be one of those “lifetime” kind of obstacles!
  • Like the person who rearranged the furniture and repurposed an old shelving unit and some bricks so her cat could have a sunny window to sleep in without falling off the windowsill. Why? Well, because it’s what he wanted, and needed, and I love him! No obstacle, just love!

3 ways to Get Scrappy

1. Choose scrappy over perfect

It all starts with attitude. Thinking “scrappy” is a choice and is distinguished by your “make-it-happen” mindset and your “can-do” spirit. It’s about the “fire in your gut” and it can be hard to explain sometimes. When you adopt a scrappy attitude, you commit and THEN figure out how! The need to be perfect flies out the window and your approach becomes a “come-hell-or-high-water, I’m gonna figure this out” kinda thing! When you do that, it changes your entire perspective. In fact, simply “deciding to go scrappy” changes the game entirely and helps you see new options and different paths.

Now, you don’t need to get scrappy every day, but certain problems call for scrappy solutions. It can be a great go-to plan when you’re facing some sort of obstacle. This is the point where you gather your creativity, through caution to the wind, and commit to going all in.

2. Source Scrappy and Innovate

Ask yourself -What do I have already? What can I use right now to start nibbling away at the obstacle?

Different situations call for different strategies, so remember to stay nimble! I can’t always be quick on my feet, but if I think about it for a bit, I can usually come up with a few ways to outsmart the obstacle. And the first question I usually ask is “What have I got that might work here?” I tell myself to try and use what I have on hand and be open to modifications.

In my case, it usually turns out to be experimentation on steroids! It also turns out to be fun, and often quite FUNNY!

Afterall, by choosing scrappy, I already threw perfection to the wind. It’s time to improvise if you must. And if you have to “source” something, what’s the quickest way to get it working and start the ball rolling while you work on crafting your perfect plan for later. Research and source with scrappy in mind.

3. Execute Scrappy (aka Git-er-done)

Scrappy execution is about putting your plan of action, even if you aren’t ready. ESPECIALLY if you aren’t ready! (I mean – “scrappy” – come ON!)

It’s the go part- the make a fool of yourself if you have to part. It’s the transition from thinking about doing to real doing. It’s about moving forward on the scrappy course of action you dreamed up. Of course, this can be risky, but it can also be rewarding. Scrappy, by definition, isn’t perfect! It’s not meant to be. It’s about progress. It’s about at least getting started and perfecting it later.

This part of your scrappy effort includes considering how risk-averse you are, double checking your plan, going for it, and leaving a little room for luck. The key is to START!

If you want your circumstances to change, at some point you have to stop thinking about it and just go for it. You’ll put yourself in a position to gain the goodies, no matter how simple, or elaborate, or off-the-wall, your plan. My advice is to start small with a simple scrappy play and then build up from there. As Amelia Earhart said, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it!”

This is just a simple introduction to gaining a “scrappy” advantage. If you’re willing to be scrappy, you’ll move into action faster. No more analysis paralysis for you! No more “it needs to be perfect!” NO!

The real story is this: It needs to get done. Done is better than perfect.

Getting Scrappy Means:

  • acting on random ideas when they pop up, even the kinda weird ones!
  • being willing to get something wrong, or make a mess of it, or have it NOT work!
  • accepting there’s no ‘right’ way to do anything, and your way is OK despite what your critics say
  • following your curiosity about a solution. Remember “what about if…”
  • Duct tape is fine for now

To be scrappy is about making things happen, getting in there, and going for it. Use your imagination. What if your scrappy plan actually works? Whoa – What if it DOES! Imagine that.

I did. It works. It’s actually kinda fun! Here’s to scrappy success!

Sooooo, How Will You Get Scrappy?

What do you need to do that has been hanging out there and getting in your way? What obstacles have come between you and a creative project or practice. How can you get scrappy and find a way through, over, or around that obstacle by throwing perfection to the wind?

That’s your assignment for this week – Give it some thought.

What do you have on hand that could help you START so you can gain momentum?

Then, share it with us. Post a comment below and let us know where you plan to get scrappy in the coming weeks.

Join me LIVE on my Facebook page, Virginia Leigh Studio, at 3:00 pm Central every Wednesday and we’ll chat about this. I’d love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends and family. Click your favorite social platform below. And join my email list for weekly creative inspiration and get support and encouragement inside my private Facebook group, Virginia’s Studio Cats.

P.S. Those examples I gave…yeah, that was me! You should see it! Truly hysterical but truly amazing what can be accomplished if you are willing to think outside the box, consider some not-so-perfect solutions, and go ahead and give it a try. Oh, and it also helps if you aren’t too proud to share your scrappy solutions so you can inspire someone else to try.

It’s OK to be scrappy, I promise!

Become Creatively-U!

Find more purpose and meaning in your day!