Thursday, August 9, 2012
A Thousand Words
I'm currently on a tight writing schedule in order to make a contest deadline. Trying to balance writing with family commitments has been a challenge lately. I get up early and try not to leave the computer until I've accomplished what I'd planned to do that day. It made me think of this post from a couple of years ago. Thought I'd add a few updates and share it again.
Several years ago, I heard author, actor, and artist McNair Wilson say “Put something into the world everyday that wasn’t there before.”
That simple piece of advice has made a difference in my life by helping me renew my efforts to daily put aside time for creativity. Some days can be one long string of doing endless repetitive things like loading the dishwasher or folding towels, and even the time I spend at the computer, which should be creative time, can turn into checking email and balancing the checkbook.
I set a goal to try and write at least a thousand words a day—a thousand words that weren’t in the world yesterday—a thousand words that can add up over time to be a screenplay or a novel. So, in the last seven years, by God's grace, I’ve completed five screenplays, posted over three hundred blog posts, am in the process of finishing my fourth novel in addition to writing I don’t know how many articles and devotions--all inspired in some degree by McNair’s advice. He even helped me get out my watercolors again.
Before I go to sleep at night, I think about what I’ve put into the world that day. It may not have been much. I might think my work less than the best, and no one but God and me may have known what I even attempted. But I give him thanks that he's enabled me to aim for faithfulness in using the gifts and talents God has given me. When I fall short, I just try again the next day.
I remember the words of Paul from Colossian 3, “Whatsoever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” Before I let my thousand words go, I make sure I put them in God’s hands.
What might God be calling you to put into the world today? What is your version of a "thousand words?" What creative endeavors have you been putting off until a rainy day, cheating yourself and those around you out of the joy those projects might bring?
Go ahead. Go for it. Who knows the thousand ways he might possibly use your endeavors to bless others?