Friday, February 11, 2011

Faith & Writing #9 – Big Write/Little Write

I love to write by hand.  I enjoy it because it feels good.  I enjoy it because it feels like I am writing, not just working.  I enjoy it because I can do it any time or place.

That last one is a biggie.  I write in an A5 notepad with a hardcover and ring spine, so I can flip it open and pen a few words whenever the notion takes me.  I write in queues, I write in traffic jams, I write in boring meetings, or just wherever I may be. 

This is what I call the “small write.”

It is a lot like prayer.  I don’t wait for a special time and place to pray.  Wherever I am, when the notion takes me, I shoot off a quick word to God.  I tell him how I am feeling, and ask him for help with something.  Or just say “Hi, it’s me.”

But I also like to write at set times.  Like for at least 30 minutes in the morning before I start the day.  It helps me to get the nights thoughts out of my head, and onto paper.  So I commit to an hour of writing in the morning.

This is what I call the “big write”.

I do the big write every day, regardless of whether I feel like it, or whether I have anything interesting to say.  I just write.  Because I need to make a habit of writing if I want to call myself a writer. 

The big write reminds me why I want to be a writer, and the small write reminds me that I am a writer.  I can’t live without both of them.

In the same way, I start each day with set prayer.  I pray at set times, like lunch, or at night, as well.  Even if I don’t feel like praying, or don’t feel like I have anything to say.  I pray, to remind myself that I am a Christian.

The set prayers help me to want to pray throughout the day, because it starts the day right, and keeps me focused on who I am.

“Small prayer” makes my life a Life of Prayer. 
“Big prayer” makes me want a life of prayer.


  1. Love it.

    I have a notebook that gets carted to coffee shops, or even dentist surgeries. There's something gloriously interactive about it, and it fuels my imagination.

  2. That's a great post and all, but we really want to read about your love life.


    I focus too much on the big write and overlook those opportunities for the small write. And since sometimes there's just no time for that big write, I end up with the no write. Same goes for prayer.

  3. And all the other fishies said, "AMEN"!

  4. I love writing, too. Snippets, mostly, but writing none the less. Must have the perfect pen, though. Pentel 0.5mm. Please, throw the old school ball point pens in the junk drawer. There are no words in them.

    And yes?! How's Dori?

  5. Amen and Amen - to prayers and writing, big and small!

    I want to want both and your words inspire!

  6. I journal every morning, or try to and some entries are longer than others. Just depends on how much I have to 'say'.

    And love life? Do tell.

  7. yes SB tell us about your love life... ;-)


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