This 3 month European trip as been an exercise in exactly that... The 'Big Work'. Seth Godin wrote another short, super-resonant blog a couple of days ago 'Doing the big work (at the little table)'.
For me there are 2 main points.
1. You spend lots of time on the 'little' work... Meetings, planning, paperwork, etc... And often very little time on the 'Big' work... The stuff that scares you or might fail.
The 'Big' work for me is going out and shooting. For you the activity may be different but the principle is the same.
These folks go out in public and create (and hone) their art... I've written about it before over here. But they are out there doing their work. The guy above carves faces into olive tree roots...
The past few months have been an amazing experience because that is all I could do... The 'Big' work. Every day I go out with my camera, talk to strangers and make pictures. It has been fantastically inspiring and my craft has grown beyond measure. The client is me. And everyday I endeavor to impress myself. There has been nothing to distract me.
2. We're more likely to do it when the 'resources are lacking and time is short'.
Why do we allow ourselves to become distracted 'at home'? It seems that when everything is finite (time, money, etc.) there is a burst of effort. I allow myself to become wrapped up in all the little stuff (that is necessary - to a degree) and often get sidetracked from the Big stuff. Even when you know that's the work that counts.
What is your 'Big' work? Are you distracted?
As Seth says, "No need to wait for permission or the lightning bolt of inspiration. The big work is available to you as soon as you decide to do it."
One thing is for sure...