September 30, 2011

Little by Little, Every Day - Susan Barclay

If you attended church a few decades ago, you probably remember the little chorus on which my title is based:
 Little by little, every day
Little by little, in every way
My Jesus is changing me
Well, if our writing habits follow this model, little by little, through Christ, we can change our world one word at a time.

"Let my teaching fall like rain, and my words descend like dew..." (Deuteronomy 32:2). Dew falls every morning, doesn't it? And dew is part of the hydrologic cycle that sees every molecule of water cleaned and purified so that life on planet earth continues. Dew drops are delicate, gentle beads that refresh the earth daily.

With all of the demands that life places on us, it can be challenging to write on a daily basis. But this is what is needed if our words are to "descend like dew." One author, whose name I've forgotten refers to it as "bum glue" - you must apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair. A crude, "un-dew-like" way of putting it perhaps, but effective. If you want to succeed in the call that God has placed on your heart, you must make the commitment to apply yourself daily to the task He's placed before you.

There are many writers who've made it a habit to write every day, whether their target is a certain number of hours, pages, or words. Graham Greene apparently wrote 500 words a day and then considered his work done; Frederick Forsyth is said to have written 2,000 and Anthony Trollope 3,000. We know the volume of work these men put out over the course of their careers, and the mark they left on the literary scene. Should those of us who belong to Christ do less? Not for the sake of our own fame, but for His, let us work diligently as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23).

Little by little, every day, let our words descend like dew, and may God use our words to change and heal others - and ourselves - for the glory of His kingdom.


  1. There is nothing like daily writing to keep your muse sharp. Great advice.

  2. I'm learning for myself, not to bite off more than I can reasonably chew, e.g. not to 'nobly' say I'm going to write 6 days a week, 4 hours a day.

    Because although the goal might not be totally impossible, it's improbable that I would be able to keep up that momentum for long.

    So for me it is looking for that 'little by little' model you've shared -- the goal I know I can sustain regularly and consistently.

    PS... I liked the 'bum glue' picture too!


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