“A little bit a lot is better than a lot a little.” This is a saying coined by a caller to Rob Gilbert’s inspiring Success Hotline (973.743.4690).
“A little bit a lot” — I can’t tell you the tremendous mileage I’ve gotten out of these five simple words! In fact, some time ago they motivated me to put myself on a more focused daily schedule and the results have been really transformative. Not only have they helped me with my daily writing, they’re also a constant reminder that writing is cumulative. If you do even a little bit each day, then your words really do begin to add up and you move steadily forward.
I remember the wonderful life coach Martha Beck describing in an article how she wrote her dissertation. She started out simply committing 15 minutes a day to it. That’s right — 15 minutes! Now whether that’s all she wrote each day or she steadily increased the amount, I can’t say. But I do know that her story had a happy ending. Writing every day, she managed to finish her entire dissertation in a year. She’s now a PhD, so her strategy certainly worked!
All this is on my mind because I put had a pretty satisfying writing stint today.
I put in a solid block of time and worked over a small section of my YA novel. There was no huge leap forward, but my story is moving at a steady clip and that’s just fine for now. I took Hemingway’s advice and stopped at a point where things were going well, so getting in gear tomorrow should be no problem.
There was a time when moving ahead just a bit would have been frustrating. But I’ve come to realize that forward motion is forward motion. Sometimes it happens in a great leap and sometimes in “a little bit” — but big or small, it helps build momentum and that’s what carries you over the rough patches. Have you found this big leap-little step pattern holds true in your work? If so, let me know!